Green Bay wide receiver Robert Ferguson was to stay in the hospital at least one more night as he recovers from a clothesline hit by Jacksonville safety Donovin Darius. Ferguson got a concussion...

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay wide receiver Robert Ferguson was to stay in the hospital at least one more night as he recovers from a clothesline hit by Jacksonville safety Donovin Darius.


Ferguson got a concussion and was temporarily paralyzed below the waist when he was hit Sunday after catching a pass. He regained feeling and movement on his way to the hospital, where he was kept overnight.


Coach Mike Sherman said yesterday that Ferguson had weakness in his arms but was in good spirits when he visited him Sunday night. Ferguson was still experiencing numbness on his left side yesterday, his agency said.


“They gave no indication that it’s career-threatening. But I don’t know if you can make that evaluation less than 24 hours” later, Sherman said. “All signs indicate that he’s going to be fine.”


In Jacksonville yesterday, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio defended Darius, saying he never intended to hurt Ferguson. Del Rio also said he expected Darius to be fined but not suspended.


“It was a nasty shot, but I don’t believe his intent was to headhunt the guy,” Del Rio said.


AFC spokesman Steve Alic said the league would look at the hit — the NFL reviews every play of every game — and that any fine would likely come down Friday.


Martz won’t quit


ST. LOUIS — Mike Martz, coach of the St. Louis Rams, said he has no intention of quitting despite a 6-8 season.


“I would never resign from this job,” Martz said. “I love this job and I would never leave these guys. We’ve got a real solid crew of young players, and it’s going to eventually be a terrific team, and I’m not going to ever walk away from something like that.”


Martz, 51-32 in five seasons, has two years left on a contract that pays him $3.5 million annually.


Dolphins interview Shell


MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins interviewed former Oakland Raiders coach Art Shell yesterday, an NFL source said.


Shell, a Hall of Fame offensive tackle, coached the Oakland Raiders from 1989 to 1994.


Dolphins interim coach Jim Bates was to interview today. The favorite for the job remains LSU coach Nick Saban, who interviewed last Tuesday in Baton Rouge, La.


By talking with Shell, the NFL’s senior vice president for football operations, Miami complied with a league requirement that teams interview a minority candidate for any coaching vacancy.


Colts stadium funding uses gambling


INDIANAPOLIS — A proposed $500 million stadium that would keep the Colts in Indianapolis for 30 years could face opposition from state lawmakers and the NFL because its funding relies on revenue from gambling.


The stadium is seen as essential to the city keeping the Colts, whose current home, the RCA Dome, is the NFL’s smallest.


But it banks on expanding gambling, an idea that state lawmakers have resisted in recent years.


Mayor Bart Peterson said the project would need at least $40 million in annual revenue from electronic pull tabs at off-track betting parlors.


The NFL prohibits players, team officials and owners from advertising or promoting activities “that can reasonably be perceived as constituting affiliation with or endorsement of gambling.”


“Nothing precludes a team from playing in a stadium funded in part by gaming,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “But there has to be a clear separation between gambling-related activities and the team, and that’s a long-standing policy.”




Notes




• Washington coach Joe Gibbs said QB Patrick Ramsey will be his 2005 starter, and he expects Mark Brunell to remain with the team as a high-priced backup. In five starts since replacing Brunell, Ramsey has completed 65 percent of his passes, with five touchdowns and three interceptions and an 83.3 rating.


Ricky Williams‘ attorneys have appealed to a federal court an arbitrator’s ruling that the former Miami running back owes the Dolphins $8.6 million. Williams and the NFL Players Association are asking the court for a new arbitration hearing, where he could present evidence rebuking the Dolphins’ damage claim.


• Oakland CB Charles Woodson and S Marques Anderson were arrested in Oakland at 4:20 a.m. yesterday for investigation of public intoxication after the Raiders’ victory over the Tennessee Titans.


• Jaguars RB Fred Taylor had an MRI on his left knee, but Del Rio called it a “precautionary measure.” Results were expected later this week. “We want to make sure there is nothing going on in there,” Del Rio said.


• Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer, who missed the Bengals’ 33-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills with a sprained left knee, said he expects to play against the New York Giants on Sunday.


• Buffalo RB Willis McGahee has a hyperextended and bruised right knee that could prevent him from playing Sunday at San Francisco.