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NFL heading toward early quarterback crisis

They talk about pro football being a game of attrition – but is it Vinny time already?

Of course, the knee injury felt 'round the football world belongs to New England's Tom Brady but they're just one quarterback sack short of all-out panic in Kansas City and Tennessee as well. So can the umpteenth return of Vincent Frank Testaverde be far behind.

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In the same game in which Brady was hurt, Kansas City quarterback Brodie Croyle suffered a separated shoulder which has head coach Herm Edwards considering a two-quarterback system featuring Damon Huard and Tyler Thigpen. Meanwhile, Tennessee is looking at a two- to four-week recovery for Vince Young (and is that another story) and has veteran Kerry Collins but obviously needs back-up help. Enter Chris Simms, who has been piling up frequent flyer miles making airplane trips to teams with a quarterback crisis.

Young's story goes beyond a banged-up knee, though. The real issue appears to be a bruised psyche. His mother told a newspaper that Young is smarting over criticism of his play. Earlier this week, Titans coach Jeff Fisher had police scouring the countryside for Young because his family was concerned over his state-of-mind. He was booed after throwing two interceptions against Jacksonville on Sunday (a game the Titans went on to win) and he had to be coaxed back onto the field by Fisher. Soon after that, he was hurt.

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Now a mother's concern for her son is genuinely moving but somehow I have to believe that fans and opponents may pick up on Young being characterized by his mother as her "baby boy" who "just needs a lot of love and support." Again, that's sincerely touching but is that really how a quarterback wants to be viewed when he has to face down, say, Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher. Who knows, guys like that may be entirely sympathetic? Then again ...

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