CZAR: Countdown to Kickoff, Week 15

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coach Mike Martz didn¿t appreciate being called a liar by Brenda Warner on a St. Louis radio station a week ago, regarding who was first to ask to have his throwing hand X-rayed.

Brenda said she was first. Regardless, the pictures showed that Warner had another broken bone in his right hand, the fifth injury in two seasons to the hand.

Warner may now pay the price for Brenda shooting her mouth off.

Warner was placed on injured-reserve this week, meaning his season is over. And in a huge switch for Martz, he announced soon after that there will be competition for the starting quarterback spot next season.

Say what?

Yes, , who starts tonight against Arizona, will have a shot at Warner¿s position next training camp. Warner was shocked by Martz¿s announcement.

The next thing Warner will hear from the , if his hand doesn¿t look good in February, is will he re-do his contract? The owe him a $6 million roster bonus on Feb. 27 and they may not want to pay if Warner¿s hand still looks awful. Warner¿s career in St. Louis suddenly looks to be in jeopardy.

And he can thank Brenda for that.

The scoop on Sunday's FOX games

GAME: Washington at Philadelphia
makes his third start at the QB for the . The defense is playing great, plus rookies at strong safety and at nickel back are coming off career games. Lewis had 12 tackles last week. Rookie QB figures to be harassed all day by Jim Johnson¿s blitz packages. Philly is shooting for its 12th consecutive conference victory.

CZAR¿S SCOOP: Many of Marvin Lewis¿s friends were disappointed that he didn¿t accept the five-year offer from Michigan State. Ditto for coach Steve Spurrier. Spurrier and Lewis don¿t get along, and Lewis wasn¿t Spurrier¿s first choice as defensive coordinator. Lewis believes he has a shot at an NFL job, where no one knows.

GAME: Seattle at Atlanta
, not , will start for the . Seattle has an awful rush defense and now must deal with Mike Vick, who has 663 rushing yards and 8 TDs. need to bounce back after crushing defeat in Tampa. Besides Vick, could be running wild.

CZAR¿S SCOOP: Can Coach Mike Holmgren work under former GM Randy Mueller? This is the option facing Holmgren, who has three years remaining on his contract, because Mueller, who was dumped by the after the draft, seems headed back to the . However, Mueller¿s first choice might be Jacksonville because owner Wayne Weaver might be easier to deal with than Seattle executive Bob Whitsett. owner Arthur Blank rejected coach Dan Reeves¿ attempt for a 3-year extension. Reeves has two years remaining on his contract.

GAME: Tampa Bay at Detroit
The Bucs seem to be hitting their stride. QB has 15 TD passes and one INT in his last five starts. The will be minus RB (Avion Cason starts) and rookie QB has turned into a dink-ball artist. The O-line has allowed only 16 sacks, but they haven¿t faced anyone like and , who has 14 ½ sacks this season. The Bucs have allowed only 159 points and lead the NFL with 26 INTs.

CZAR¿S SCOOP: The funny thing in Detroit is that both Marty Mornhinweg and GM Matt Millen believe they are returning, but minus each other. Mornhinweg is actually telling friends that he¿s OK, and that owner William Clay Ford will be firing Millen. Imagine that! Bucs safety is out with a neck sprain. replaces him at strong safety. The finally will start rookie DE .

GAME: Carolina at Pittsburgh
QB figures to have a better game, considering have a so-so secondary. Plus, Maddox has finally settled down since suffering a paralysis scare in Tennessee. There won¿t be a quick hook unless Maddox is simply awful. TE needs one more TD (53) to tie for second all-time for tight ends.

CZAR¿S SCOOP: The fans are turning ugly. They have a website going right now, dubbed and they have a bunch of listings under Cowher¿s Debacles. There are rumors that GM Marty Hurney is in trouble, but he says he won¿t be fired by Carolina owner Jerry Richardson.

GAME: Minnesota at New Orleans
The are hoping to end a 17-game road losing streak. QB will start again with a sore deltoid muscle in his throwing shoulder, but figures he won¿t last the game. He told Fox¿s Ron Pitts that he wants to get some action, anyway, because Jake¿s wife is expecting a baby any day now. RB Deuce McAlister will start on his bad ankle.

CZAR¿S SCOOP: The NFL won¿t fine the for releasing the confidential officiating report on last Sunday¿s loss to the in which referee Walt Coleman¿s crew was cited for making nine bad calls. OT hasn¿t said anything lately about suing the NFL after it fined Baltimore¿s only $5,000 this week for ripping the helmet off Donte Stallworth last Sunday.

GAME: Green Bay at San Francisco
WR has a strained groin, but he¿s expected to play although he hasn¿t practiced. will return to the ¿ lineup; ditto for DT . is out at cornerback for the and will be replaced by rookie . The conditions figure to be awful because it has rained hard for two days at Candlestick Park. is a go for the .

CZAR¿S SCOOP: WR is 102 receiving yards away from costing the a fourth-round draft choice next April. Glenn, who has a sore tailbone, wants to play, although there have been rumors that Green Bay will hold him out in order not to compensate the with the pick. Steve Mariucci still without a long-term contract, plus owner John York wants team executives to cut $20 million in either payroll or expenses because he needs money to make $75 million payment to former owner Eddie DeBartolo next summer.

GAME: Dallas at N.Y.
How long will DE play? He will go with a neck strain, suffered while lifting weights on Thursday. get their starting cornerbacks back in and and that could be enough to slow down . , who got burned for game-winning TD by last Sunday, may be forced to start for injured (hip contusion).

CZAR¿S SCOOP: owner Jerry Jones is still mad that coach Dave Campo didn¿t gamble on fourth down against the . Will Campo be fired? Well, he¿s hanging by a thread. Jones wouldn¿t mind taking a run at Mike Holmgren if he leaves Seattle. Another possibility might be coach Steve Mariucci, who might need to win in the playoffs to get a long-term extension.

Tagged: Falcons, Cowboys, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Rams, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Giants, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Ahman Green, Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme, William James, A.J. Feeley, Ahmed Plummer, Terrell Owens, Matt Hasselbeck, Jeff George, Chris McAlister, T.J. Duckett, Sheldon Brown, Patrick Ramsey, Tommy Maddox, Chad Hutchinson

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