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Week 5: A rough day for kickers

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It was a tough Sunday for veteran NFL kickers, with Miami's Olindo Mare and Indianapolis' Mike Vanderjagt missing games.

Mare was sidelined for the Dolphins' fifth straight loss, 24-10 at New England, with a right calf injury. He was replaced by Wes Welker, a rookie kick returner whose extra point in the second quarter was his first NFL point. In four seasons at Texas Tech, Welker kicked only once — an attempted extra point that was blocked.

Welker added a 29-yard field goal. Welker was signed Sept. 21 after being released by San Diego, which signed him as an undrafted free agent.

"I played soccer since I was about 4, so that really helped a lot," he said.

The Dolphins also saw both quarterbacks get hurt. Jay Fiedler hurt his ribs and back on a sack and, two plays later, A.J. Feeley sustained a concussion when he threw a fourth-down incompletion and was hit by Rosevelt Colvin.

The Patriots played without injured receivers Deion Branch and Troy Brown, and another one, Bethel Johnson, was inactive.

Vanderjagt was out with a strained right hamstring, but the Colts won 35-14 against Oakland. Matt Bryant was signed on Friday in case Vanderjagt could not play and kicked five extra points.

Marcus Pollard, the Colts' most productive tight end this season, missed the game with a bruised left knee.

Oakland deactivated Pro Bowl guard Ron Stone and running back Tyrone Wheatley. Stone has an injured knee ligament and Wheatley is expected to miss two to four weeks with a shoulder injury.

All-Pro linebacker Julian Peterson tore his left Achilles' tendon late in the first quarter of San Francisco's game against Arizona. Peterson hopped off the field on one leg after he was barely touched by an Arizona blocker. Early in the second quarter, he was taken to the locker room on a cart.

"I'm disappointed that I went out on a play like that," Peterson said. "The guy couldn't take me down, so he kind of leg-whipped me. He hit me in the right spot and took me out at my Achilles', but I can't do nothing about that."

The 49ers also lost backup FB Jasen Isom to a torn Achilles' tendon.

San Francisco already was playing without three defensive starters — middle linebacker Derek Smith, end Andre Carter and cornerback Mike Rumph — but won 31-28 in overtime.

St. Louis free safety Aeneas Williams left the Rams' game against Seattle because of a pinched nerve in his neck. The eight-time Pro Bowl player was hurt late in the first half.

The Rams also lost defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson because of a strained hamstring.

Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms strained his left shoulder when he was sacked by Saints defensive lineman Will Smith. The New Orleans rookie sacked Simms with 42 seconds left in the first quarter. Simms fumbled on the play and Smith was penalized for unnecessary roughness.

"I don't think it's serious," Simms said. "I was just trying to throw the ball and I felt something and couldn't go on."

Cardinals RB Emmitt Smith, the NFL career rushing leader, injured his groin in the fourth quarter against San Francisco. The injury was not considered serious.

Carolina running back DeShaun Foster left at Denver with a broken collarbone, leaving the Panthers with just two healthy fullbacks to carry the ball. Foster got the start after the Panthers declared Stephen Davis inactive with a knee injury. Foster left early in the second quarter.

That left the running to Nick Goings and Brad Hoover, who had three carries between them this season.

Panthers S William Hampton sprained his knee and did not return.

The Giants lost starting defensive tackle Fred Robbins because of a sprained shoulder, and receiver Tim Carter left with a hip injury at Dallas.

Cowboys wide receiver Antonio Bryant was hurt on one of the final plays of the game, but there was no immediate update on his condition. CB Bruce Thornton, who was making his NFL debut, may have sustained a season-ending knee injury.

The Lions lost FB Cory Schlesinger at Atlanta with a hamstring injury, then sensational rookie WR Roy Williams hobbled off in the third quarter with a gimpy ankle. Falcons backup TE Eric Beverly sprained his shoulder.

Colts WR-KR Brad Pyatt sprained an ankle on the opening kickoff and did not return against Oakland.

Jets left guard Brandon Moore hurt his hamstring in the second quarter against Buffalo and missed the rest of the game. WR Santana Moss also left the game with cramps.

MCALISTER SIGNS DEAL: Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister has signed a seven-year contract that will enable Baltimore to keep the Pro Bowl player through 2010 and allow him to shed his unwanted tag as the team's franchise player.

McAlister and the Ravens reached an agreement Saturday afternoon, general manager Ozzie Newsome said Sunday night before Baltimore faced the Washington Redskins.

PLUMMER HONORS TILLMAN: Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer wore a sticker on his helmet Sunday honoring former teammate Pat Tillman, even though he expects the NFL to fine him for it.

Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals safety who walked away from the NFL to join the U.S. Army Rangers and fight in Afghanistan, was killed in action in April.

Plummer was warned of the fine before last week's game and chose to remove the decal.

"That was a decision I made and I was upset" about it, he said.