NFL Notes: Bucs' Williams out for season

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NFL Notes: Bucs' Williams out for season
October 28, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Williams, who signed a six-year, $40.25 million deal in July, will miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury. (AP)

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay's struggling offense suffered another setback Monday: Receiver Mike Williams needs surgery to repair a hamstring injury and will miss the remainder of the season.

Williams was placed on injured reserve when the Bucs returned to practice after having the weekend off. The fourth-year pro who signed a six-year, $40.25 million contract in July, had 22 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns in six games.

"Mike had a hamstring injury that he tried to play through, but just wasn't effective doing it," coach Greg Schiano said. "He'll get surgery now, and it'll be repaired. He'll be fine, but it'll be a little bit of a recovery."

Losing Williams is yet another blow to the winless Bucs (0-7), who've struggled offensively in the wake of a messy split with quarterback Josh Freeman and injuries to running back Doug Martin and guard Carl Nicks, who are both out indefinitely.

Williams injured his right hamstring against Arizona on Sept. 29. He was inactive against Philadelphia on Oct. 13, but played the past two weeks and had a combined seven catches for 52 yards and no TDs. (see full story)

Browns: Benjamin out, Campbell to start
BEREA, Ohio -- Browns speedy return specialist Travis Benjamin tore a knee ligament Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season.

Benjamin sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 23-17 loss to unbeaten Kansas City. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Benjamin, one of the league's top punt returners, twisted his knee while planting on a return in the third quarter and will need surgery. 

"It's a tough loss for us," Chudzinski said, "but we'll have some guys step up."

The second-year wide receiver has been a major playmaker for the Browns. Benjamin returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown on Oct. 3, and his 86-yard kickoff return set up a TD for the Browns on Oct. 20 against Green Bay.

Benjamin set a team record with 179 yards in returns against the Bills. (see full story)

Meanwhile, quarterback Jason Campbell has earned a second straight start following a strong performance.

Chudzinski wasted no time Monday in naming Campbell his starter for this week's game against Baltimore after the nine-year veteran nearly led the Browns to an upset of the unbeaten Chiefs. Making his first start in 11 months, Campbell completed 22 of 36 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns in Cleveland's 23-17 loss.

Campbell made his first start this season after Chudzinski benched Brandon Weeden, who went 0-4 as a starter this season.

Chudzinski praised Campbell for his poise and game management.

The Browns (3-5) were in position to possibly tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter, but Davone Bess fumbled a punt return and Kansas City recovered.

Texans: Keenum to start Sunday
HOUSTON -- Case Keenum will start at quarterback in place of a healthy Matt Schaub when the Texans host division foe Indianapolis on Sunday night.

Coach Gary Kubiak announced the decision Monday and said he had decided before the bye weekend to give Keenum a second straight start as the Texans try to end a five-game losing streak. Kubiak said the decision was not for the rest of the season, but is geared toward trying to keep the team going in the right direction following a close 17-16 loss to Kansas City in which Keenum played well.

"I've got to make decisions I think are best for the football team right now," Kubiak said. "The decision I made was based on what I saw take place last week with Case and him taking advantage of an opportunity. I want to see him move forward."

Keenum saw the first game action of his two-year career in the loss to the Chiefs. Teammates pointed to the energy he brought to the field while going 15 for 25 for 271 yards and a touchdown.

"I thought we went out and played better football and that's why we had a chance to win in Kansas City," Kubiak said. "I thought (Keenum) did some really good things. He's got to improve. This football team's got to improve around him." (see full story)


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