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FLA Sports Wrap: 'Noles star DT out for season

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Updated: Sunday, February 15, 2009 17:02

TALLAHASSEE - Florida State defensive tackle Paul Griffin will miss the rest of the season after tearing his left ACL.

"He was our second best defensive lineman," coach Bobby Bowden said. "He did well in the spring and fall, and in the first ball game."

Griffin was on crutches after suffering the knee injury in the Seminoles' 24-17 win over Troy on Saturday.

He transferred to Florida State in January after two seasons at Butler Community College, and earned a starting position after an impressive spring and fall camp.

The loss of Griffin, coupled with the loss of second team defensive tackles Emmanuel Dunbar (back) and Letroy Guion (right ankle) leaves Florida State thin on the interior line.

Defensive line coach Odell Haggins said that redshirt freshman Kendrick Stewart will start along side Andre Fluellen this weekend, and that freshman Justin Mincey, who spent time at tackle during fall camp, has moved from defensive end to tackle to help aid the team's depth.

Linebacker Derek Nicholson sprained his right ankle against Troy, but he practiced on Monday and was expected to play in Saturday's ACC showdown against Clemson.

Marlins Uggla sets record

MIAMI - Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins hit his 24th home run Monday night against the New York Mets, matching the major league record for a rookie second baseman.

Joe Gordon of the New York Yankees hit 25 homers in 1938, with 24 of them coming as a second baseman.

Earlier this season Uggla, who never played above Double-A before this year, became the first Rule 5 draft pick to make the All-Star team as a rookie.

Jags' may lose Hayward for season

JACKSONVILLE - Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has been forced to make an early change to his starting defense for the third consecutive season.

Defensive end Reggie Hayward ruptured his left Achilles' tendon in the opener against Dallas and will have season-ending surgery in the next 10 days, a potentially devastating injury for the Jaguars (1-0).

"It's a blow to us, but we've got some guys who can step up at that spot," linebacker Mike Peterson said.

Hayward, who signed a five-year, $25 million contract in March 2005, led the team with 8 1/2 sacks and 59 quarterback pressures last season. He also had 47 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Without him, backup defensive tackle Rob Meier will move outside and start alongside Marcus Stroud, John Henderson and Paul Spicer next Monday night against defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh (1-0).

"You plug in, you fill in the gaps best you can and you carry on," Del Rio said.

"That's what we'll have to do. Any time you lose somebody it affects you. You'd rather have your top guy, your starter. That's where you'd prefer to be, but you have to adjust.

"In this game, things happen. We've got to adjust as a staff, and we will. Players will get an opportunity to step in, and they will. That's what we have to do, and that's what we will do."

The Jaguars had to do the same thing the previous two years.

Spicer broke his right leg in the second game of the 2004 season and was done for the year. Meier replaced Spicer in the starting lineup for eight game, then broke his left leg and joined his teammate on injured reserve.

Jacksonville was back at full speed last year, for one game. Safety Donovin Darius sustained a season-ending knee injury in the second game.

Now, the Jags are down a starter again.

"It's a very significant loss, but I think we're going to be OK," Stroud said. "Our sack numbers may not be what we want, but we're going to be fine.

"We've got guys to replace him."

Along with Meier, the Jaguars will turn to former Pro Bowl end Marcellus Wiley, third-year player Bobby McCray and rookies Brent Hawkins and Tony McDaniel to pick up the slack.

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