Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers will be suspended for four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, ESPN reported last night.

Unless Rogers appeals, the suspension could be announced this week, ESPN reported, citing sources.

"A player's status in the National Football League substance abuse program is strictly confidential unless the NFL announces a player's suspension," the Lions said in a statement. "Any questions regarding the policy should be directed to the NFL."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had no comment. A message seeking comment from Rogers's agent, Kevin Poston, was left last night.

In three games this season, Rogers has caught just five passes for 77 yards.

* FALCONS: Michael Vick is expected to start against New England this week after an MRI confirmed that he did not seriously injure his right knee in Atlanta's victory over Minnesota on Sunday.

"It confirmed that it was just a mild sprain of his MCL, and he is day-to-day," Coach Jim Mora said. "That ought to put that to rest for a least two or three minutes from now when someone asks another question about it."

Vick was injured when Minnesota rookie defensive end Erasmus James knocked him to the ground and fell on his leg in the second quarter of Atlanta's 30-10 win.

Matt Schaub replaced Vick and played the rest of the game. The Falcons had a two-touchdown lead when Vick walked slowly off the field with a slight limp.

Warrick Dunn's 37-yard run on Atlanta's next possession put the Falcons ahead 21-0 and all but eliminated the chance that Vick would return.

* CHIEFS: Police sprayed mace on Kansas City tight ends coach Jason Verduzco before Sunday's loss to the Eagles after he became combative when he wasn't allowed to turn into the stadium entrance he said he normally uses.

Verduzco, 35, also was cited for trying to harm an officer.

According to a police report, the altercation started when police tried to stop Verduzco from turning into one of the gates because of heavy traffic from arriving fans. But Verduzco was turned anyway, and police said he got so close to an officer that the bumper of his sport-utility vehicle was touching the officer's leg. The coach is accused of refusing to back up the SUV and cursing at officers, telling them he's a coach and frequently turns at the intersection.

* BILLS: Defensive tackle Ron Edwards had tests on his right shoulder injury, leaving his status uncertain for Buffalo's home game against Miami this weekend.

Coach Mike Mularkey wouldn't discuss the injury except to say he was still awaiting word on the tests.

Edwards did not return after being hurt in the first half of Buffalo's 19-7 loss to New Orleans on Sunday. It's the same shoulder Edwards had surgically repaired in 2003.

* RAIDERS: Oakland center Jake Grove underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and likely will miss three to four weeks.

Grove tore cartilage in his knee in the third quarter of Sunday's 19-13 win against Dallas. With Oakland (1-3) having a bye this weekend, Grove might only miss a couple of games.

* CHARGERS: San Diego left guard Toniu Fonoti will have further surgery on his broken right hand and is expected to be out two to three more weeks.

Fonoti broke his hand in practice on Sept. 14 and played the following Sunday in a loss at Denver. He had a plate inserted a week later, and has missed the last two games.

Returner Darren Sproles sprained an ankle in Sunday's win at New England and is questionable for a home game against Pittsburgh on Monday night. Safety Hanik Milligan also has an ankle sprain.

* COURTS: Timmy Smith, the former Washington Redskins running back who set a Super Bowl rushing record in 1988, was formally charged with intentionally possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, a charge that carries a lesser penalty than previously announced.

The 41-year-old Smith, of Denver, and his brother, 35-year-old Chris Smith of Lakewood, Colo., appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Patricia A. Coan where they were advised of charges pending against them. Both remained in custody without bond. A hearing was scheduled for Thursday.