Soul quarterback Tony Graziani, who has battled a knee ailment most of the year, will miss Saturday's game against visiting Cleveland with a head injury. It will be the 10th game of the year Graziani will be sidelined.
Graziani, 34, was injured in last Saturday's win at Dallas and examined yesterday at Lankenau Hospital. Soul coach Bret Munsey said doctors want Graziani to sit out the upcoming game and from there "it will be a week to week thing."
Graziani has had at least two head injuries since joining the Soul in 2005, including a concussion sustained during a playoff game in Austin in 2006.
"I want for Tony to be the starting quarterback, but his body is saying different," Munsey said. "It's tough."
As the Soul have done all season, it will turn to Matt D'Orazio to be the starter. Philadelphia (11-3) is tied with Dallas for the National Conference lead, but holds the homefield advantage edge because of two wins over the Desperados. Each team has two games remaining and each has clinched playoff berths.
Unlike 2006 and 2007 when the Soul went 1-7 while Graziani was injured, D'Orazio has led the team to a 7-2 mark as a backup this season.
AFL veteran Glenn Gauntt, who was brought in when a knee injury caused Graziani to miss four games earlier this season, will be D'Orazio's backup while Graziani is on the shelf.
Munsey was a little shaken by Graziani's latest setback.
"We've been together for 3 years now and been through some ups and downs," the coach said. "We're on a high right now and I want him to be a part of it."
In unrelated moves, the Soul released fullback John Peaua and defensive back Nick Ward. *