Jags send Peterson home after spat with coach

Jacksonville linebacker Mike Peterson was sent home again Thursday and probably will be benched or suspended for this weekend's game at Detroit.

Coach Jack Del Rio was still deciding how to punish the Jaguars' captain, who was asked to leave Wednesday after a confrontation with the coach during a team meeting that day.

According to teammates, Del Rio called out Peterson for his muscle-flexing celebration following a shoestring sack at Cincinnati on Sunday. Del Rio was upset that Peterson was reveling a play in a game the Jaguars trailed 21-3.

Peterson defended himself in the meeting, saying he was trying to give the team a spark in the game, but Del Rio didn't want to hear any excuses. The coach had even told players before he singled a few out that he didn't want to hear a word from anyone.

"That's the first time I've seen a coach and player just disagree in front of everybody to the extent that they did," defensive end Reggie Hayward said Thursday. "It's extremely surprising, but this is a business and when things aren't going right, tempers flare.

"They're both human. Everyone wants to win, and when we don't win, tempers flare, pride gets in the way and people have disagreements."

Peterson could not be reached for comment.

Parker, Big Ben sit out

Willie Parker is back on the Steelers' injury list.

Parker missed practice for the second day in a row Thursday because of a shoulder injury — not the sprained knee that kept him out of four games — and the running back's status for Sunday's game against Indianapolis is uncertain. The Steelers' final practice of the week is Friday.

Ben Roethlisberger, dealing with a slightly separated right shoulder and a left pinkie ligament injury, also didn't practice Thursday. The Steelers quarterback is optimistic about practicing Friday and playing against the Colts, although he sat out the second half of the Redskins game.

Around the league

Bills: Top pass-rusher Aaron Schobel will spend at least the next week with his left foot in a cast, but is not expected to miss the rest of the season. Schobel had the cast placed on his foot to protect a sprained ligament in his big toe. It's possible Schobel, who has already missed three games because of the injury, could be back by the end of the month.

49ers: Receiver Arnaz Battle will miss the game at Arizona on Monday night with a sprained right foot. Battle, the 49ers' second-leading receiver with 24 catches for 318 yards, has played in 42 consecutive games.

Jets: Leading tackler David Harris is out for at least two to three weeks after having surgery on his injured groin, according to published reports. Harris, who leads the Jets with 52 tackles in his second season, had a procedure Wednesday to repair the injury, the Daily News and Star-Ledger of Newark reported Thursday.

Panthers: Rookie running back Jonathan Stewart missed his second straight practice Thursday and was in a walking boot to protect his sore left heel. His status for Sunday's game at Oakland is uncertain.

Raiders: Quarterback JaMarcus Russell was unable to finish practice Thursday because of tendinitis in his right knee. He is expected to play Sunday against Carolina.

Rams: Running back Steven Jackson is optimistic he'll be able to play Sunday against the Jets, but his coach needs to see evidence why. Jackson did not practice Thursday for the second straight day. But interim coach Jim Haslett says if Jackson can't practice on Friday, he won't play Sunday.

Seahawks: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck did not make his anticipated return to the practice field Thursday, casting doubt over whether the Seahawks' leader will be ready to make his scheduled start next week against Arizona.