- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2009

From combined dispatches

Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh lashed out at NFL union leader DeMaurice Smith, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the media a day after being dropped from a group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams.

On his syndicated show Thursday, Limbaugh said he was approached by St. Louis Blues chairman Dave Checketts earlier this year about participating in a bid for the Rams. Checketts assured him his involvement as a minority investor had been vetted by the NFL, he said.

“I said to him at this meeting, ‘Are you aware of the firestorm?’ He said, ‘We wouldn’t have approached you if we hadn’t taken care of that,’ ” Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh said Checketts had told him his involvement had been cleared at the “highest levels of the NFL.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Colts owner Jim Irsay each expressed misgivings this week at a leaguewide meeting about Limbaugh’s involvement, with Goodell saying Limbaugh had made “polarizing” comments and Irsay vowing to vote against him. On Wednesday, Checketts said Limbaugh had been dropped from the bid.

During a 15-minute counterattack at the start of his show, Limbaugh said he believes he has been made an example by a players union seeking leverage in talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. What happened to him was an illustration of “Obama’s America on full display,” he said.

VIKINGS: Minnesota receiver Percy Harvin returned to practice on a limited basis after being held out Wednesday.

He hurt his left shoulder Sunday at St. Louis. Coach Brad Childress said Harvin is continuing to work through his injury.

LIONS: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was held out of practice for the third time in four days, leaving his availability in question for Sunday at Green Bay.

In Stafford’s place last week, Daunte Culpepper had 282 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception in a loss to Pittsburgh.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall missed practice with flu-like symptoms, allowing Willie Parker to get more carries with the starters as he returns from a two-week layoff with a toe injury.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said who will get the majority of the carries against Cleveland likely won’t be decided until Sunday.

JETS: New York receiver Jerricho Cotchery missed a second straight day of practice because of a hamstring injury. He said he was uncertain whether he’ll be ready to play against Buffalo.

TITANS: The NFL fined Tennessee defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch $5,000 for his hit near the knees of Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.

BLACKOUTS: Oakland’s home game against Philadelphia on Sunday will be blacked out locally because the team did not sell out the game in time. Likewise, Jacksonville’s home game against St. Louis will be its third local blackout of the season.

Cincinnati received a one-day extension to sell out its game against Houston. More than 3,000 tickets remained Wednesday.

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