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NFL roundup: Expanded playoffs considered

The SportsXchange

The NFL is discussing expanding the playoffs from 12 teams to 14 while decreasing the preseason schedule to three games per team, ESPN reported Sunday.

The expanded playoffs proposal would offset teams' lost revenue from eliminating one preseason game, and may add television revenue for the league.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the new scheduling format is a possibility, but would not take effect in 2014. However, ESPN reported that the league might implement the format as early as 2014 if it gets the necessary votes from team owners.

Also, the league needs to establish a new preseason scheduling formula, confirm sponsorship agreements and resolve a few stadium lease issues.

The league's competition committee reportedly recommended the three-game preseason model as the minimum period necessary to evaluate players.

--Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end L.C. Greenwood died Sunday of natural causes at age 67.

Greenwood, a Steeler for 13 years, died at 11:56 a.m. ET, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Greenwood had been treated at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland, Pa., for an undisclosed reason and was hospitalized last week.

Despite a resume that included four Super Bowls, two All-Pro honors and six Pro Bowls selections, Greenwood is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a two-time finalist -- in 2005 and 2006.

Also, the Steelers guard Ramon Foster left Sunday's 34-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in London with a chest injury.

The exact nature or extent of the injury is unclear.

--The New England Patriots ruled out tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Danny Amendola from playing Sunday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Multiple media outlets reported Saturday that Gronkowski and Amendola did not make the trip to Atlanta. The Patriots officially ruled them out Sunday morning.

Gronkowski was limited in practice all week while recovering from multiple back and forearm surgeries. Amendola's groin was torn off the bone. He can practice without making the injury worse but is not ready to play.

--Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman was inactive Sunday in a 13-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano announced last week that rookie Mike Glennon would start and Freeman was demoted to backup. However, he later dropped Freeman to No. 3.

According to reports during the week, the Buccaneers were considering deactivating Freeman as punishment for giving "unauthorized interviews" since the demotion. Freeman told ESPN Thursday night that a trade is "probably the best option" for him.

--Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor was out of Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Pryor, who sustained a concussion Monday against the Denver Broncos, was medically cleared to play later in the week. However, Fox Sports reported that Pryor's concussion symptoms resurfaced Saturday night.

It was also reported last week that the NFL Players' Association was investigating how the Raiders handled Pryor's concussion. The NFL said the team properly followed the league's mandated protocol.

---Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was active for Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He rushed five times for 17 yards.

Rice missed last week's game with a left hip flexor strain.

---Kenny Britt was inactive for the Tennessee Titans' 38-13 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, adding another layer of acrimony to the rocky relationship between the team and its former No. 1 wide receiver.

Britt fractured a rib last week and was limited in practice this week. ESPN reported Sunday that the Titans are listening to trade offers for Britt. He was outspoken two weeks ago when head coach Mike Munchak benched Britt after he drew a critical penalty.

--Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was taken off the field on a stretcher after injuring his lower back while hitting Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub during Seattle's 23-20 overtime win.

Bennett was moving his arms and legs before he was placed on the stretcher. The team said he was taken to a hospital, but has feeling in all of his extremities.

According to the Seattlepi.com, Bennett suffered a strained muscle in his back near his vertebrae. He was taken to a hospital for examination and returned to the stadium before the game ended.

--Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar was arrested for suspicion of DUI in Solon, Ohio, early Sunday morning.

Kosar was stopped at 2:42 a.m., and officers said they smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle, according to the Solon Police Department. He was the only occupant in the vehicle.

After taking sobriety tests, Kosar was taken to the Solon Police Department without incident, according to the police report.
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