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  • Packers’ front 5 helps keep offense humming

    The Green Bay Packers keep absorbing the hits on the offensive line. But as far as the linemen are concerned, better that they take the blows than quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Front fives don’t usually draw much attention. The Packers’ highlight reel is typically filled with pinpoint passes from Rodgers to receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall…

  • Air Marty offense mostly grounded with Jets

    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Marty Mornhinweg’s reputation in NFL circles is that of a guy who likes to throw the ball in an attack-style offense that piles up points. That air approach has been mostly grounded in his two seasons with the New York Jets. The offensive coordinator has had to stick to more…

  • Jaguars receivers wear ‘I Can’t Breathe’ shirts

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Receivers for the Jacksonville Jaguars and defensive end Ryan Davis wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts during warmups before their Thursday night game against the Tennessee Titans. This is the final home game of the year for the Jaguars, and the final Thursday night game in the NFL season. Both teams are…

  • ‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jared Cook wants to be more than hands up, he wants to be hands on this holiday season. The St. Louis Rams tight end and four other players who recently did the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture are following through on plans to aid residents in nearby Ferguson, Missouri. Cook and…

  • Jaguars without defensive tackle Miller against Titans

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are without starting defensive tackle Roy Miller against Tennessee. Just days after signing a four-year extension worth $16.2 million, Miller misses his first game of the season because of a sprained knee. He had been listed as questionable. Second-year pro Abry Jones starts in his place. The Jaguars…

  • Seattle Seahawks sign Wright to 4-year extension

    RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The conversations started in the spring and as much as K.J. Wright wanted to believe the Seattle Seahawks legitimately wanted to keep him around long-term, the fact the season started and weeks ticked by without a contract extension began weighing on the linebacker. “The more the season goes on, it’s only…

  • 49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Aldon Smith might not have the intimidating and impressive sack numbers of past seasons in his abbreviated year, yet he judges his play by more than just flattening opposing quarterbacks. Smith believes he has done well applying pressure since returning from a nine-game suspension that has made it tough for…

  • Lions preparing for the cold

    ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions like to call themselves an indoor team with an outdoor mentality. Now it’s time to put that mantra to the test. Needing one win to clinch a playoff spot, the Lions will play at Chicago on Sunday against the struggling Bears. Although Detroit is heavily favored the…

  • Raiders defense depleted by injuries

    ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders defense was dealt a big blow back in the preseason when middle linebacker and defensive signal caller Nick Roach suffered a season-ending concussion. That injury set the tone this season for the Raiders, who have had to piece together their defense on the fly because of a litany…

  • Browns, Thomas likely to miss playoffs again

    BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Year after year it’s the same thing: the Browns collapse in December or even earlier, miss the playoffs and left tackle Joe Thomas makes the Pro Bowl. Book it again. Well, not just yet. Cleveland’s chances of making the AFC playoffs are hanging by the thinnest thread as the Browns (7-7)…

  • ‘Super Mario’ making presence felt in Buffalo

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Jerry Hughes shakes his head in dismay and mutters, “That’s crazy.” The Bills defensive end has difficulty imagining how the Houston Texans were being second-guessed for selecting Mario Williams with the No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft. No offense to running back Reggie Bush or quarterback Vince Young, who…

  • Bengals heading back into withering spotlight

    CINCINNATI (AP) — Two big goals are still out there for the Cincinnati Bengals: Shine in prime time, win in the playoffs. The AFC North leaders have a chance to put a dent in the first one on Monday night when they host Denver (11-3), which has already clinched the AFC West. The Bengals (9-4-1)…

  • 49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is declining to respond to reports that he is weighing an offer from Michigan to become the new football coach at his alma mater. Harbaugh has one season remaining on the $25 million, five-year contract he signed in January 2011. Several media outlets, including ESPN and…

  • Manning limited at practice with thigh injury

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Peyton Manning is over his illness but not his injury. Denver’s quarterback was limited Thursday when the Broncos reconvened for their first practice since their win at San Diego on Sunday. Manning fought through the flu in that game and strained his right thigh late in the first half. Manning participated…

  • Philip Rivers returns to practice, has perfect day

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Philip Rivers was back at practice Thursday, and by all accounts it was a perfect one. The San Diego Chargers quarterback returned a day after sitting out practice in order to rest chest and back injuries. He expects to play at San Francisco on Saturday night, when the Chargers (8-6) hope…