- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Peyton Manning has won back his starting job after recovering from a left foot injury and rescuing the Denver Broncos.

Brock Osweiler is back on the bench.

Coach Gary Kubiak informed his quarterbacks of his QB decision and then his team Thursday morning when players returned from a three-day furlough.

Manning missed seven starts with a torn plantar fascia. He returned to action Sunday when he relieved Osweiler in the second half and led the Broncos to a 27-20 win over San Diego that secured the AFC’s top seed.

That marked Manning’s first game as a backup since his freshman year at Tennessee 21 years ago.

The Broncos went 7-2 with Manning as their starter and 5-2 under Osweiler, including Sunday’s win over the Chargers.

Osweiler has never taken a snap in the playoffs. Manning is 11-13 in the playoffs over his 18-year career. That includes an NFL record nine first-game exits, three Super Bowls and one ring.

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Brett Favre, Terrell Owens and Alan Faneca, all first-year eligibles, have made the list of 15 finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The class of 2016 will be decided on Feb. 6, the day before the Super Bowl, with inductions scheduled for August.

Also making the cut to 15 are Morten Andersen, Steve Atwater, Don Coryell, Terrell Davis, Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Joe Jacoby, Edgerrin James, John Lynch, Orlando Pace and Kurt Warner.

Two senior finalists - players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago - were announced last August: Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel.

A contributor finalist announced in September was Edward DeBartolo Jr., owner of the San Francisco 49ers from 1977-2000.

To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum of 80 percent of the votes cast by the selection panel.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Troubled Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was cited for driving with expired license plates last weekend before he was spotted in Las Vegas.

According to police in North Olmsted, Ohio, Manziel was stopped at 8:28 a.m. on Saturday while driving on Interstate 480. Police gave him a traffic ticket for the expired plates. Manziel can pay a $125 fine for the offense.

Manziel was in the NFL’s concussion protocol last week after the team said he got hurt in a Dec. 27 game. He wasn’t required to be at Cleveland’s season finale Sunday, but owner Jimmy Haslam said the 23-year-old failed to report to the team’s facility for a required medical assessment.

The Browns did not confirm a report that Manziel was in Las Vegas.

On Wednesday, Cavaliers star LeBron James ended his business partnership with Manziel.

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Dallas coach Jason Garrett and his staff will coach the North team in the Senior Bowl, with Jacksonville’s Gus Bradley leading the South for the third straight year.

It will be the first time the Cowboys have coached in the annual college all-star game since 1965, the last of four straight years involving Tom Landry’s staff. The game is Jan. 30.

The Cowboys (4-12) and Jaguars (5-11) never were in serious playoff contention, but both owners have already said their head coaches will return.


NYON, Switzerland (AP) - Michel Platini told The Associated Press that he remains determined to overturn the eight-year ban he was handed by FIFA’s ethics committee last month, but that the deadline for the Feb. 26 election for FIFA president is too short and renders his candidacy impossible.

“I’m withdrawing from the race for FIFA presidency,” Platini, the suspended president of European football’s governing body UEFA, told the AP in an interview. “The timing is not good for me. I don’t have the means to fight on equal terms with the other candidates. I have not been given the chance to play the game. Bye, bye FIFA. Bye, bye FIFA presidency.”

Platini’s bid to succeed Sepp Blatter in soccer’s top job was put on hold because of a payment he received from his former mentor back in 2011. Blatter and Platini were last month banned for eight years for conflict of interest in the 2 million Swiss franc ($1.35 million) payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.

Platini hopes to clear his name at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The 60-year-old Frenchman was not authorized to bypass FIFA’s appeal procedure, which states that he will only be able to turn to CAS once FIFA’s appeal committee has ruled on the case.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Dodgers opened their wallet to sign Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda to an incentive-laden deal that could be worth $106.2 million if he stays healthy, a risk the team was willing to take despite knowing he has had elbow issues.

After the $25 million, eight-year contract was finalized, Maeda was introduced during a news conference at Dodger Stadium.

Maeda and the Dodgers acknowledged that his physical revealed unspecified “irregularities.” The 27-year-old right-hander said he’s confident he will be able to pitch a full season in the major leagues.

Maeda and Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, declined to get specific.

Asked why the Dodgers would take such a risk, Friedman said, “Most if not all pitchers have injury risk. We just know more about it on the front end.”

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The San Francisco Giants agreed on a $31 million, three-year deal with free-agent outfielder Denard Span.

Span passed a physical and will be officially introduced at a news conference on Friday. Span will make $10.33 million a year and can make additional money with performance bonuses.

After filling their holes in the rotation earlier in free agency by signing Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, the Giants addressed their other major offseason need by signing Span.

Span, who will turn 32 next month, batted .301 with five homers, 22 RBIs and a .365 on-base percentage in 61 games last season with Washington. He missed time with injuries to his back, left hip and right core.

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