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NFL REPORT

Tim Tebow to start again for Broncos

Denver hosts the Houston Texans on Sunday.

December 20, 2010|Wire reports

Tim Tebow has earned another start.

Interim Coach Eric Studesville said Monday he has decided to start Tebow again when the Denver Broncos (3-10) host the Houston Texans (5-9) this weekend.

Studesville said that Kyle Orton is still bothered by bruised ribs and that Tebow did a good job managing the game plan in his first NFL start Sunday at Oakland despite Denver's 39-23 loss to the Raiders.

Asked if team owner Pat Bowlen might have suggested the move to ensure there isn't a sea of empty seats at Invesco Field on Sunday, Studesville said that he indeed met with the owner and chief operating officer Joe Ellis in the morning but that it was his decision alone. He says Bowlen and Ellis agreed with his call.

The Broncos waived rookie linebacker Kevin Alexander hours after he was arrested on a domestic violence allegation.

Team spokesman Patrick Smyth said that although the team was aware of his arrest, Alexander's release was a football decision to clear a roster spot for cornerback Chevis Jackson.

Aurora, Colo., police were called to an apartment Monday morning and were told by a woman who said she was Alexander's girlfriend that he had assaulted her Sunday night. The 23-year-old Alexander was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor assault and battery. He was taken into custody shortly before noon and was released after posting $2,000 bail. A court date was set for Tuesday.

Sanchez should play next week

Coach Rex Ryan says New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez had an MRI exam on his throwing shoulder after it was "kind of sore" after a 22-17 win at Pittsburgh, and he should be fine to play at Chicago on Sunday.

Ryan said that the MRI exam was strictly "precautionary," while downplaying it. Ryan says Sanchez banged up his right shoulder on an early play Sunday, and the quarterback showed no ill effects the rest of the game.

Sanchez was 19 for 29 for 170 yards with a touchdown rushing and no interceptions, ending an eight-game streak of being picked off at least once.

Rodgers' status unknown

As of Monday, the Green Bay Packers couldn't say for sure that Aaron Rodgers will be able to play this weekend.

They did know this: Despite Sunday night's tough 31-27 loss at New England, the Packers still are virtually assured of a playoff spot if they win their final two games.

Even after watching yet another close game go the wrong way — all six of the Packers' losses this season have come by four points or fewer — Packers Coach Mike McCarthy generally was upbeat about the way his team played in a road game against the NFL's hottest team with Rodgers on the sideline.

Rodgers sat out Sunday night's game a week after sustaining his second concussion of the season. McCarthy said he will have more information on Rodgers' availability Wednesday.

Steelers expect Miller to play

The Pittsburgh Steelers expect tight end Heath Miller to play Thursday night against Carolina after sitting out two games because of a concussion.

Miller, hurt Dec. 5 in Baltimore, was expected to return for Sunday's game against the Jets but developed post-concussion headaches and was held out. His replacement, Matt Spaeth, caught a touchdown pass during Pittsburgh's 22-17 loss.

Miller was injured on a helmet hit by the Ravens' Jameel McClain, who was fined $40,000 by the NFL.

Defensive end Aaron Smith (torn triceps) is being fitted with a shoulder brace so he can resume practicing, although Coach Mike Tomlin did not say Monday when that might be. The Steelers practice only once this week.

Smith hasn't played since being injured Oct. 24 in Miami.

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