Raiders' Allen may miss 6 weeks with knee injury


The Los Angeles Raiders learned yesterday that running back Marcus Allen will be lost for up to six weeks because of a sprained ligament in his right knee.

Allen sprained the posterior cruciate ligament during the Raiders' 47-17 opening-game loss to the Houston Oilers on Sunday.

He attributed the injury to the artificial turf at the Astrodome in Houston.

"It's a shame if you're just running on artificial turf and nobody touches you and you get hurt," Allen said.

The injury to Allen also leaves the Raiders vulnerable at that position. Former 49ers back Roger Craig was available to spell Allen late in the Houston game. Fullback Napoleon McCallum (Navy) would be the next choice.

The Raiders have tailbacks Nick Bell, a rookie from Iowa, and veteran Vance Mueller on injured reserve and unavailable for three more weeks. They released tailback Greg Bell with an injury settlement after he sprained an ankle late in the preseason.

* FALCONS: Mike Rozier, the club's leading rusher last season, has ended his holdout.

The Falcons said Rozier signed his contract and did some running yesterday, but he isn't expected to be activated in time for Sunday's home opener against the Vikings.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but it is believed that Rozier signed a three-year deal with base salaries totaling a little more than $2 million. Atlanta is expected to petition the league for a two-week roster exemption for Rozier.

* BILLS: The defensive line is down to one of the three starters who played in last season's Super Bowl.

The latest casualty is nose tackle Jeff Wright, who went down in the third quarter of Sunday's 35-31 victory over the Dolphins with a dislocated left kneecap.

Coach Marv Levy said Wright will be placed on injured reserve, meaning he won't be eligible to play for four weeks.

Wright joins defensive end Bruce Smith, last year's NFL Defensive Player of the Year, on the sideline. Smith underwent knee surgery a month ago and is expected back shortly, although Levy said he wasn't sure when.

The other Super Bowl starter on the defensive line, end Leon Seals, is also struggling with a knee injury.

* RAMS: Coach John Robinson will start Robert Delpino at tailback in place of Cleveland Gary on Sunday when Los Angeles faces the Giants on the road.

After Gary fumbled on his third carry of the game in the Rams' 24-14 to the Cardinals, he carried the ball only one more time.

Delpino, a career utility player, replaced Gary and had 194 of the Rams' 375 total net yards -- 81 rushing and 113 receiving.

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