- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware could play Saturday night, an encouraging sign after a scary headfirst collision that left him sprawled on the field for several minutes.

“He’s actually a lot better today,” coach Wade Phillips said Monday. “He’s really in a day-to-day situation as far as where he’s going to be, as far as being able to play. He took quite a hit but has really bounced back strong. That’s encouraging for him and us.”

PATRIOTS: Coach Bill Belichick is defending Randy Moss against comments that the wide receiver doesn’t go all out on the field.

Belichick said he has a lot of respect for Moss and dismissed the criticism as coming from two Carolina players who had just lost another game.

Panthers defensive backs Chris Gamble and Chris Harris made the remarks after New England’s 20-10 win Sunday that dropped Carolina to 5-8. The Patriots are 8-5.

JETS: Injured quarterback Mark Sanchez will practice this week, although coach Rex Ryan is uncertain what the rookie’s status will be for New York’s next game against Atlanta.

Ryan said he wants to see how Sanchez and his sprained right knee get through Wednesday’s practice before making a decision on who the starter will be Sunday at the Meadowlands.

VIKINGS: A federal appeals court rejected an NFL request to reconsider its decision in a high-profile sports labor case involving two Minnesota Vikings accused of violating the league’s anti-doping policy.

In a split decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the NFL’s request for a rehearing before either the full appeals court or the same three-judge panel that ruled against the league in September in the case of Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. Four of the court’s 11 judges dissented.

The NFL argued that the ruling hampered its ability to enforce uniform anti-doping standards nationwide. Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL filed court papers supporting the NFL’s position, saying it affected their ability to enforce their own rules against steroids and other drugs.

BRONCOS: Rookie Darcel McBath is out for the season with a broken arm, a big blow to Denver’s special teams and its defensive backfield.

PACKERS: Green Bay agreed to a four-year, $21 million deal with linebacker Brandon Chillar.

Chillar’s agent, James Ivler, said the player will receive $9.5 million through the end of next season under the new contract.

EAGLES: Wide receiver Kevin Curtis, out since the second week of the season with a knee injury, could return for Sunday’s home game with the San Francisco 49ers.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh safety Ryan Mundy is appealing a $10,000 fine for a late hit on Oakland wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins that led to the Raiders’ winning touchdown on Dec. 6.

TEXANS: Houston rookie tight end Anthony Hill has a torn knee ligament and will miss the rest of the season.

RAMS: St. Louis guard Jacob Bell could miss the rest of the season after tearing a hamstring late in Sunday’s loss at Tennessee.

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