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NFL NOTES: Bucs put DE Bowers on injured reserve

TAMPA, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed defensive end Da’Quan Bowers on injured reserve and filled the roster opening by signing defensive lineman Scott Solomon.

Bowers is a third-year pro who had a disappointing season, finishing with seven tackles and one sack. He sat out last week’s loss at St. Louis with a sore knee and becomes the 16th player the Bucs have placed on injured reserve this year.

Solomon was a seventh-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2012.

 

KITNA TO DONATE COWBOYS SALARY TO HIGH SCHOOL

IRVING, Texas—Jon Kitna will earn $53,000 to serve as the Cowboys’ third-string quarterback for one week—and he plans to donate that money to the Seattle-area high school where he’s now a coach.

Kitna told The Dallas Morning News of his plans Wednesday.

Kitna retired after the 2011 season, his 15th in the league, and was coaching football at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash., this season when he heard about Tony Romo’s back injury. Kitna sent a text message Tuesday morning to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, and the two would talk by phone for 30 minutes, he said.

“I told Jason if he wants me or somebody to come in and call a play and be able to pull a play off if a bad situation happened, I would be willing to do that,” the 41-year-old Kitna told the newspaper.

He’ll suit up Sunday as the backup to Kyle Orton if Romo can’t play against the Philadelphia Eagles, in a game that will decide a playoff berth.

 

 

ACL INJURIES DOWN IN SEASON, NFL SAYS

NEW YORK—ACL injuries are down, the NFL has told its Health and Safety Advisory Committee.

In a memo to the committee sent earlier this week and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said research showed there were 30 ACL injuries in games through the preseason and first 13 weeks of the schedule. There were 39 such injuries in 2012, 35 in 2011, 37 in 2010, and 31 in 2009.

Anterior cruciate ligament problems are the most severe knee injuries.

There was an increase in medial collateral ligament injuries (MCL), from 74 in 2012 to 89 in games this season through 13 weeks. But there were 106 MCL injuries in 2011, 89 in 2010 and 103 in 2009.

The injury reporting service Quintiles/Outcome provided the numbers to the league, which then sent them to the committee chaired by 49ers owner John York. The data are for all types of ACL and MCL injuries, including tears and sprains.

 

 

BILLS’ WOODS SAYS PUNCH COST HIM $15,000 FINE

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.—Buffalo Bills rookie receiver Roberts Woods has told The Associated Press he has been fined $15,000 by the NFL for punching Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones last weekend.

Woods, who was ejected after throwing the punch, says he wasn’t surprised upon receiving notice from the league when he arrived for practice Thursday.

The altercation was in the third quarter of Buffalo’s 19–0 win. Woods caught Jones with an uppercut across the facemask. He says he regrets losing his cool.

 

 

COWBOYS’ BRYANT MISSES PRACTICE, BUT PLANS TO PLAY

IRVING, Texas—Dallas receiver Dez Bryant says he will play in a winner-take-all finale against Philadelphia despite missing practice because of a persistent back problem.

Bryant was downgraded on the practice report Thursday, a day after being a limited participant when the back flared up. He said he aggravated his back in the 24–23 win over Washington.

The Cowboys (8–7) play the Eagles (9–6) on Sunday night in their third straight season-ender with the NFC East title and a playoff berth on the line.

 

 

ALLEN’S GAME WITH VIKES LIKELY HIS LAST

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is aiming to play in the season finale despite a sprained right foot that has slowed him the last few weeks.

Peterson took part in practice Thursday. He said “stay tuned,” as to whether he’ll be healthy enough to play.

But there’s no doubt about defensive end Jared Allen’s status, at least for Sunday. He has 9 sacks and has stated his desire to reach double digits for a seventh straight season. But this will likely be the budding free agent’s last game in Minnesota.

Earlier, the team announced it plans to honor former center Matt Birk before their final game at the Metrodome Sunday.

Birk will serve as an honorary captain for the Vikings game against the Detroit Lions. He spent 11 seasons with the Vikings and four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

 

 

JETS’ CROMARTIE ‘DEFINITELY’ OPEN TO NEW JETS DEAL

FLORHAM PARK, N.J.—Antonio Cromartie says he’s “definitely” open to restructuring his contract to assure his return next season, and adds he’d like to retire someday as a member of the New York Jets.

The veteran cornerback will count nearly $15 million against the team’s salary cap next season, so it’s possible the Jets could be looking to cut Cromartie or have him rework his deal. But Cromartie says Thursday that “this is where I want to be.”

 

 

ASOMUGHA TO RETIRE AFTER 11 SEASONS

ALAMEDA, Calif.—Former All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will retire after 11 years in the NFL.

The Raiders said Asomugha will announce his retirement officially at a news conference at team headquarters Friday.

He earned three Pro Bowl selections in eight seasons in Oakland and was a first-team All-Pro in 2008 and 2010.

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