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Raiders name Sparano interim coach

(AP Photo/File)

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Reggie McKenzie believes he put together a roster capable of competing for a playoff spot. When that roster got off to an 0-4 start and wasn't even competitive in two games, the Oakland Raiders general manager decided he needed to fire coach Dennis Allen.

McKenzie replaced his hand-picked coach by promoting offensive line coach Tony Sparano on an interim basis Tuesday with the hopes that can spark a turnaround for a team that has lost 10 straight games dating to last season.

"Yes, I do believe what we put together this offseason was a roster that could win," McKenzie said. "I'm not going to get into all the particulars of why it didn't work for Dennis. But the bottom line is it didn't work. For whatever reason, not only the 0-4 start but our play did not represent what we were capable of. That's the bottom line."

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Colts extend injured Mathis' contract

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis is keeping Robert Mathis around through 2016.

The team announced Tuesday it had given the 2013 NFL sacks leader a one-year contract extension. Financial terms were not immediately available.

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NFL: Penalty for Abdullah's prayer wrong

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The NFL said Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he dropped to his knees in prayer after an interception.

The league's rule book prohibits players from celebrating while on the ground, but spokesman Michael Signora wrote in an email Tuesday that the "officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play."

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FCC considers petition to ban 'Redskins'

WASHINGTON (AP) The head of the Federal Communications Commission says the agency will consider a petition to ban the Washington Redskins nickname from the public airwaves.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says Tuesday that the commission "will be dealing with that issue on the merits, and we'll be responding accordingly."

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Vikings: Bridgewater 'doing much better'

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Vikings have not committed to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater playing at Green Bay on his sprained left ankle.

Two days after the injury he was "doing much better," according to coach Mike Zimmer, but Bridgewater didn't participate in practice Tuesday.

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Falcons lose Hawley, Holmes for season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons are facing a dramatic overhaul on their offensive line after announcing Tuesday that injuries have ended the seasons for center Joe Hawley and right tackle Lamar Holmes.

Atlanta's defense also took a big hit as safety William Moore will miss at least eight weeks with a shoulder injury.

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Browns RB Tate returns to practice

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Ben Tate's injured right knee has healed. His confidence was never even bruised.

Cleveland's running back returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since spraining his knee in the first half of the season opener at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7. Wearing a brace for the first time in his career, Tate made several sharp cuts and looked quick during the portion of individual and team drills.

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Clowney hopes to return in a few weeks

HOUSTON (AP) Top overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney's rehabilitation from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee is going well and he hopes to return for the Houston Texans in a few weeks.

Clowney spoke to reporters on Tuesday after an appearance at a local middle school.

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Cowboys LB Carter could miss 2 weeks

IRVING, Texas (AP) Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter is out this weekend against Houston and could miss next week's game at Seattle because of a strained quadriceps.

Carter said in a story on the team's website Tuesday that a timetable for his return was 10 to 14 days.

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Chiefs place RB McKnight on IR

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs have created space on their roster for the return of right tackle Donald Stephenson by placing running back Joe McKnight on injured reserve.

McKnight became the third Chiefs player to tear his Achilles tendon when he was hurt in practice last week. He was coming off a two-touchdown game in a win in Miami.

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