Alex Karras said to be near his death
Former Lions great and actin star suffered kidney failure
Seattle Times news services
DETROIT — Friends of Alex Karras say the former Lions great suffered kidney failure in the past two weeks and has been given only a few days to live.
Tom McInerney, a friend of Karras' since the 1950s, said Karras' wife, Susan Clark, told him of her husband's failing health in a phone call Monday morning.
Detroit drafted Karras out of Iowa in 1958 and he was a standout for 12 seasons. He might be even more well known for his work as an actor. He played the role of Mongo in the 1974 comedy classic "Blazing Saddles," and was a lovable father in the 1980s sitcom "Webster."
The 77-year-old Karras has suffered from a variety of health problems in recent years, including dementia and cancer, and is part of the mass concussion lawsuit more than 3,000 former players have filed against the NFL.
Catherine Lincoln, general manager of Clark Karras Properties, said Karras was released from Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., over the weekend and is currently at his California home on hospice care.
"He is, as Susan said to me, in transition," Lincoln said. "Certainly all prayers and good wishes are appreciated."
Turner at a loss
NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth saw something wrong with Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither and predicted that Saints defensive end Martez Wilson would sack Philip Rivers to end the game Sunday night.
Chargers coach Norv Turner wasn't alerted to Gaither's injury, either by the player himself or an assistant coach.
Sure enough, with the Chargers desperately trying for the tying touchdown in the final seconds, Wilson blew past the hobbled Gaither on Rivers' blind side for the strip-sack and recovered the fumble to preserve the Saints' 31-24 victory.
"It wasn't brought to my attention," Turner said Monday.
• Tennessee coach Mike Munchak says QB Jake Locker will miss his second consecutive game with an injured left shoulder. Munchak says Locker is improving but Matt Hasselbeck will get the start.
• Chiefs QB Matt Cassel sustained a concussion Sunday and is unlikely to play this weekend, which means Brady Quinn is preparing to start for the first time in nearly three years.
• Washington QB Robert Griffin III felt good enough to attend something called a Rookie Success Program meeting Monday morning and seemed, by all accounts, to be doing just fine on the day after suffering his first NFL concussion. Griffin still has to complete the league's mandated return-to-play protocol before he's cleared for practice for the rest of the week.
• Minnesota strong safety Harrison Smith won't be punished further for his shove of an official that drew a 15-yard penalty and automatic ejection Sunday. The rookie was pulled away from a tussle with some Titans players by back judge Steve Freeman after an interception by the Vikings, when Smith pushed Freeman aside.
• RB Kevin Faulk is retiring after 13 seasons with the Patriots. The formal announcement is scheduled for Tuesday. Faulk has appeared in just nine games the past two seasons.
• The NFL has suspended Giants rookie safety Will Hill for using Adderall. Hill's suspension will begin immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Giants' active roster on Nov. 5, the day after the Giants play the Pittsburgh Steelers.
|Player, position||Team||Injury, prognosis|
|Robert Griffin III, QB||Redskins||Concussion, expected to be OK|
|Troy Polamalu, S||Steelers||Strained right calf, out this week|
|LaMarr Woodley, LB||Steelers||Strained hamstring, doubtful|
|Matt Cassel, QB||Chiefs||Concussion, unlikely for this week|
|Jake Locker, QB||Titans||Shoulder, out this week|
|Jerome Simpson, WR||Vikings||Leg numbness, undergoing tests|
|Javon Ringer, RB||Titans||Sprained knee, out 4 to 6 weeks|
|Ryan Williams, RB||Cardinals||Shoulder, out for season|
|Brian Cushing, LB||Texans||Left knee, status unknown|