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NFL roundup: Griffin practices, hopes to play

The SportsXchange

Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III returned to practice Wednesday, and he hopes to play this weekend's key game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Griffin missed last Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns with a sprained right knee. Rookie Kirk Cousins started in his place and threw for 329 yards.

The Washington Times reported that Griffin moved easily during practice, planted on his injured leg while throwing the ball and worked on rollouts.

The Redskins (8-6) are tied for the NFC East lead with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

"I'm ready to play whenever they want me to play," Griffin said after going through a full practice.

The Redskins also signed linebacker Vic So'oto to their active roster from the Green Bay Packers' practice squad.

--Brady Quinn will start at quarterback Sunday for Kansas City against the Indianapolis Colts, Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said.

Quinn sustained a rib injury in last Sunday's 15-0 loss to the Oakland Raiders. He completed 18 of 32 passes for 136 yards and no touchdowns and was sacked four times by the Raiders. Quinn has started six games this season and has thrown just two touchdown passes while being intercepted six times.

--LeSean McCoy will return to the lineup for the Eagles on Sunday after missing four games with a concussion.

Meanwhile, quarterback Michael Vick will be the Eagles' No. 3 quarterback behind starter Nick Foles and Trent Edwards and might not be uniform Sunday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Vick has sat out five games because of a concussion.

Coach Andy Reid said McCoy would rotate in the backfield with Bryce Brown, but McCoy will start. Reid decided to use McCoy after the four-year veteran told him that he wanted to play before the end of the season.

--The New York Jets' quarterback position continued to draw attention Wednesday.

Coach Rex Ryan did not directly address questions about Tim Tebow's future with the team. Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez, benched as the starter this week in favor of Greg McElroy, received death threats on Twitter that later were deleted by the sender.

According to reports, Tebow will asked for a trade or his release after the season.

--New England quarterback Tom Brady was absent from a Wednesday practice session after meeting with the media beforehand.

No reason was given for his absence, WEEI-FM reported, but it might have been a day of late-season rest. He hadn't previously missed a practice this season.

On a more positive note for the Patriots, tight end Rob Gronkowski did participate in practice. Gronkowski suffered a broken left forearm in November and hasn't played since Nov. 18. He returned to practice in a limited basis last Friday but did not play in the Patriots' loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

--Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who criticized offensive coordinator Todd Haley's play selection last week, apologized Wednesday for his remarks.

Roethlisberger thought the Steelers should have focused on getting the ball to tight end Heath Miller and stayed in the no-huddle offense more in their 27-24 overtime loss to Dallas last Sunday.

"There won't be any rift," Roethlisberger told USA Today. "Everything is fine. I don't even think Todd was upset with it. He said, 'I appreciate you coming. But I don't think you needed to.' We're good to go."

--San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh expects injured defensive tackle Justin Smith to be ready to play Sunday night in a key NFC West matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

Smith left last Sunday night's game against New England in the third quarter with an elbow injury. The three-time Pro Bowl player underwent an MRI exam Monday.

"Knowing what I know of Justin Smith and the situation, I think 'The Cowboy' will be around, saddled up, roping and riding," Harbaugh said on his radio show. "If it's humanly possible, The Cowboy will be out there, roping and riding."

--Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and ESPN reporter Samantha Steele were married Monday in a ceremony at a courthouse in Wisconsin.

Ponder confirmed Wednesday that the couple tied the knot. They went across the border to Hudson, Wis., to keep it quiet, he said.

"We tried to limit the attention on us," Ponder said. "I know the state of Minnesota probably isn't happy about it. We're going to have a big ceremony sometime in the offseason and be able to enjoy it."

--Super Bowl XLVII, the Pro Bowl and wild-card Saturday doubleheader games will be available to fans on television, online and on some mobile phones, the NFL announced Wednesday.

The Super Bowl, broadcast by CBS on Feb. 3, will be accessible to viewers via live stream at NFL.com and CBSSports.com. The Saturday wild-card games and the Pro Bowl will be streamed live on NFL.com and NBCSports.com.

The network television feeds will supply the coverage for CBSSports.com, NBCSports.com and NFL.com. The stream also will include additional camera angles, in-game highlights, live statistics and various interactive elements.
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