NFL roundup: Jets bench Sanchez; Eagles' McCoy might return Sunday

The SportsXchange

--Mathematically eliminated from 2012 playoff contention, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan announced Tuesday that Greg McElroy would start at quarterback Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. The news comes one day after a disastrous four-interception, one-fumble performance Monday night from Mark Sanchez in a 14-10 loss to the Titans.

Sanchez has struggled for most of the season. He threw for just 111 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in Week 14 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he had 97 passing yards and three interceptions a week earlier against the Arizona Cardinals, though the Jets somehow won both those games.

--Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was cleared to return to game action, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report.

"There's a chance he ends up playing for us this week," coach Andy Reid said during his radio show on WIP-AM. "We'll see how it goes with the practices this week. He practiced (Monday) and did well."

If McCoy plays Sunday against the Washington Redskins, he'd be used with rookie running back Bryce Brown, as the team plans to use the final two games to determine what it has in the backfield going forward.

--Guard Willie Colon was placed on injured reserve by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who needed to make a roster move after reinstating running back Rashard Mendenhall from a one-game suspension.

Also, the team signed veteran cornerback Justin King to the active roster and placed cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

--The Chicago Bears placed running back Michael Bush on season-ending injured reserve with injured ribs and re-signed Kahlil Bell. Bush finishes his first season in Chicago with 411 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 114 carries.

--San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (clavicle), wide receiver Malcom Floyd (ankle) and tackle Reggie Wells (ankle and toe) all landed on injured reserve. All were hurt during Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. Wide receiver Mike Willie and defensive end Damik Scafe were promoted from the team's practice squad to fill two of the roster spots.

--Right guard Kraig Urbik signed a contract extension with the Buffalo Bills. Terms were not disclosed. Claimed off waivers from the Steelers in 2010, Urbik started 26 of 34 games for the Bills.

Also, Buffalo signed wide receiver Chris Hogan and linebacker Greg Lloyd to the 53-man roster from the team's practice squad. Linebacker Arthur Moats was placed on injured reserve, and wide receiver Donald Jones was assigned to the Reserve/Non-Football Illness.

--The Jacksonville Jaguars signed wide receiver Mike Brown, linebacker Brandon Marshall and fourth-year tight end Isaiah Stanback from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. They waived fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou, placed rookie second-round pick Andre Branch on injured reserve with a groin injury and placed running back Jordan Todman (calf) on injured reserve.

--The Cleveland Browns hired Alec Scheiner as the franchise's president. Scheiner has spent the last eight years in various jobs with the Cowboys, including senior vice president and general counsel the last five years.

--Nose tackle Josh Brent will no longer be allowed on the Dallas Cowboys' sideline, team and league sources told

Brent, who is on the reserve/non-football injury list after being charged with intoxication manslaughter in the crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown two weeks, was on the sideline for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, unbeknownst to the Cowboys and officials in the NFL's offices.

The team and the league agree that it wasn't appropriate, sources told Brent attended the game after he was urged by several teammates. Coach Jason Garrett didn't know about it until pregame warm-ups, and owner Jerry Jones didn't know until he saw Brent on television.

--Nearly two months before killing his girlfriend and then himself, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher texted another girlfriend that he "would shoot" longtime girlfriend Kasandra Perkins "if she didn't leave him alone," according to police reports obtained by The Kansas City Star.

The other woman thought Belcher was joking at the time.

On Dec. 1, the 25-year-old killed Perkins. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he shot himself. Before committing suicide, he was met by head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, and he thanked them for all they'd done for him. When police arrived, he shot himself behind a car, as Crennel pleaded, "You're taking the easy way out," the paper said.

--With an average 4.0 U.S. rating and 6.4 million viewers for its expanded 13-game schedule this season, the NFL Network announced its best audience since it began airing regular-season games in 2006.

Excluding over-the-air numbers, this year marks the fourth straight year of growth. Compared with last year, NFL Network games jumped 11 percent in the ratings. Including over-the-air numbers, the games averaged a 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers.

--The NFL Players Association and ESPN announced a multiyear agreement for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl to be televised live on ESPN2. This year's game will take place on Jan. 19 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

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