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Panthers unsure what to do with butterfinger Biakabutuka

SHARE Panthers unsure what to do with butterfinger Biakabutuka

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers aren't sure about what to do with fumbling running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka.

Biakabutuka fumbled on his fifth carry in Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and didn't touch the ball the rest of the game. In two games, he's lost two fumbles on just 10 carries.

His difficulty hanging onto the ball has already cost him his starting job. Rookie Nick Goings was the first running back in the loss to Atlanta.

"You can just say 'Hey, the man's going to fight his way through it' or you can make a change to where he just doesn't get his hands on the ball," coach George Seifert said. "It's going to be a day or two before I make a decision as to what we're going to do."

The rash of fumbles — he also lost two in the preseason — has put a crimp in Biakabutuka's job security. He's never stayed healthy for an entire year, failing to play in more than 11 games in his first five years in the league. He's never posted a 1,000-yard season.

But Seifert said he was still reluctant to give up on Biakabutuka.

"He's worked very hard. I have absolutely no negative feelings about the way he has practiced, or about the way he's practicing to hold onto the ball," Seifert said. "But it's not getting done right now."

BRONCOS: Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski is taking no chances with a bruised hip.

Two chiropractors were summoned from Texas and Utah. A two-hour session in a hyperbaric chamber was also in the appointment book for Monday.

Romanowski, who has not missed a game in his 14-year career, did not play in the second half of Denver's 38-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night. He expects to be ready for this week's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

"I'm heading over to the Cellular Medicine Institute and getting in a hyperbaric," Romanowski said. "I have a guy that I flew in from Austin who's a really good therapist. I have another one I'm flying in from Salt Lake City. They're both chiropractors, but they have other specialties that make them really great therapists."

Romanowski, 35, injured his left hip when he was hit following an interception and subsequent fumble by teammate Denard Walker in the second quarter Sunday night.

"When Denard fumbled that ball, I think somebody came in and speared me right in the hip, and I couldn't run in the second half," he said.

Known for his devotion to nutritional supplements and unconventional conditioning programs, Romanowski has played 210 regular-season and 23 playoff games since being selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1988 draft.

49ERS: Tight end Greg Clark will undergo surgery on his right hamstring on Tuesday, further delaying his first game with the San Francisco 49ers this season.

Clark, a starter for most of the past three seasons, hasn't practiced yet this season while recovering from offseason surgery on both hamstrings. The 49ers don't know when he'll return.

"We were hoping to have him back by now," coach Steve Mariucci said.

Last season, Clark caught a career-best 38 passes for 342 yards and two TDs.

Rookie Eric Johnson was the 49ers' starting tight end in their 30-26 loss to St. Louis on Sunday. Johnson, a seventh-round draft pick from Yale, has seven catches for 48 yards this season.

TITANS: Steve McNair threw on Monday for the first time since being knocked out of Tennessee's season opener, and coach Jeff Fisher said he thinks the quarterback should throw in practice this week.

McNair wasn't in uniform Sunday for the Titans' 13-6 loss to Jacksonville. Fisher said McNair tossed 25-to-30 passes to a trainer Monday and that his range of motion has returned, with his strength improving.

Surgery is a possibility if McNair doesn't heal, but that would put him out a minimum of three weeks and possibly up to 14.

"If he weren't getting any better, that's a consideration, but he's improving," Fisher said.

RAIDERS: Oakland Raiders center Barret Robbins injured a ligament in his right knee and will miss at least one game.

Coach Jon Gruden said Monday that Robbins apparently tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Robbins, who has been the core of the Raiders offensive line since 1996, was hit twice on the play.

"There was a big pile that landed right on Barret's leg," Gruden said.

For the time being, the Raiders plan to start Adam Treu, the long snapper listed behind Robbins on the depth chart.

Several other players were hurt in the Raiders' 18-15 loss Sunday to the Miami Dolphins, including free safety Anthony Dorsett (ribs), running back Tyrone Wheatley (neck), safety Marquez Pope (shoulder), free safety Johnnie Harris (shoulder) and linebacker Bobby Brooks (hamstring).

BILLS: Eric Moulds, the Buffalo Bills' most potent offensive threat, is questionable for practice this week after spraining his left shoulder.

Coach Gregg Williams held out hope Monday that Moulds will be ready for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh, adding he will know more when the team resumes practicing on Wednesday.

Moulds, a two-time Pro Bowl receiver who set a franchise record with 94 receptions last season, was hurt on a jarring hit by Mike Peterson in the first half of Sunday's 42-26 loss to Indianapolis. The catch was Moulds' second of the day, extending his franchise record to 51 straight games with a reception.

Following the game, Moulds said he was having trouble moving his shoulder, but expected to be healthy enough to play this weekend.

More seriously hurt is rookie linebacker Brandon Spoon, who will miss at least a week after dislocating his left elbow.

COWBOYS: Dallas Cowboys receiver Raghib Ismail is expected to be out 2-to-4 weeks, although test results on his injured right knee won't be available until Tuesday.

Ismail was injured Sunday when his leg was bent under him while he caught a pass and was tackled in the second quarter of Dallas' 32-21 loss to San Diego.

Ismail tore a ligament in the same knee 10 games into last season and did not return. On the drive before this injury, he proved that his speed was back with an 80-yard touchdown that was the longest of his career.