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NFL roundup: Jones-Drew says he will play next week

The SportsXchange

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew told Sirius XM Radio on Friday that he will play next week against the Buffalo Bills after an MRI on his injured hamstring revealed a strain.

Jones-Drew rushed for a season-high 103 yards Thursday against the Houston Texans before leaving in the fourth quarter of the Jaguars' 27-20 win.

"Definitely, that's always been the plan," Jones-Drew said. "Right now, I mean, I just want to make sure everything is on track. And then we'll see how it goes next week, but I expect to be out there playing with my teammates.

"It's ... just a strained hamstring. I've played with those before so it's not that big of a deal. You just have to get the necessary treatments and things done so you can get back and get on the field for Sunday."

It was the first time Jones-Drew has topped 100 yards rushing since September 2012. For the year, he has 208 carries for 719 yards with five touchdowns.

---Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, facing a yearlong suspension, reportedly turned down an offer from the NFL that would have allowed him to return to the field next October rather than in December.

Under the deal, Browner would have been eligible to return at the start of October, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reported.

Browner is contesting his placement in Stage 3 of the NFL's substance-abuse program, arguing that the league improperly advanced him while he was playing in the CFL from 2007 to 2010.

He also is claiming his urine sample in the positive test in September was mishandled, according to Garafolo.

Browner claims the urine collector used a damaged cup and then poured the urine into another cup. Browner's request to have the collector testify during appeal hearings was denied, Garafolo reported, and the collector disputed Browner's account in a conversation with the league's medical director.

Browner will be a free agent after the season and apparently wants the entire suspension dismissed. He reportedly is prepared to sue the league if a suspension is levied.

Browner has missed the past two games with a groin injury and also will not play in San Francisco on Sunday.

The Seahawks have kept Browner on the roster as they await resolution of the appeal. That is expected to take another week or two.

---Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is expected to start Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams, despite being listed as questionable with a right elbow injury.

Palmer took all of the snaps in Saturday's walk-through, according to ESPN.

Palmer was limited in practice on Friday and was considered a game-time decision. However, coach Bruce Arians said Friday that he believed Palmer would be able to play.

Palmer injured his elbow during last Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but he played the rest of the game.

If Palmer cannot play, Drew Stanton will be the Cardinals' starting quarterback. He has not played since 2010.

Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (knee) and wide receiver Michael Floyd (ankle) are both expected to play Sunday.

---The Baltimore Ravens activated tight end Dennis Pitta from the injured reserve/designated to return list on Saturday.

Pitta has been out with a dislocated hip since July. He returned to practice Nov. 20.

While he is eligible to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, it is not a certainty. Coach John Harbaugh said Friday that Pitta had a "reasonable chance" of playing.

Pitta is looking forward to playing.

"You always want to see how you're going to respond after getting hit like that," Pitta said Friday. "It's not something that you could simulate in rehab or even in practice. It will be nice to kind of take that first hit and just see how it feels."

Pitta was the Ravens' second-leading receiver last season with 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns.

Tight ends Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson have combined for 47 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns this year without Pitta.

The Ravens waived running back Bernard Scott to make room for Pitta on the 53-man roster. Scott did not appear in a game since signing on Oct. 28.

---The Pittsburgh Steelers activated tight end Matt Spaeth from the injured reserve/designated to return list Saturday.

Spaeth, considered one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL, has been out since preseason with a foot injury.

Spaeth was drafted in the third round by the Steelers in 2007. He returned to Pittsburgh as a free agent this year after spending the previous two seasons with the Chicago Bears.

To make room for Spaeth on the 53-man roster, the Steelers waived tight end Richard Gordon. Gordon signed with Pittsburgh on Oct. 15. He was previously with the Oakland Raiders in 2011-12.

---Detroit Lions rookie cornerback Darius Slay has a torn meniscus in a knee that was injured in practice this week, according to ESPN.

Slay is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was injured Thursday and is reportedly considered week-to-week.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Friday it was a "freak" injury that occurred during a non-contact portion of practice.

Slay, who was drafted in the second round of this year's draft out of Mississippi State, has 27 tackles and four pass breakups.

After starting the first two games of the season, Slay has been the Lions' third cornerback behind Rashean Mathis and Chris Houston.

Houston is questionable with a foot injury. Bill Bentley and Jonte Green figure to get expanded roles if Slay and Houston cannot play.

---The San Diego Chargers activated outside linebacker Melvin Ingram from the physically unable to perform list on Saturday.

Ingram, a first-round draft pick in 2012, spent the first 12 games of this season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that he sustained in May.

Ingram had 41 tackles and one sack in 16 games (two starts) his rookie year.

To make room for Ingram on the roster, the Chargers released linebacker Adrian Robinson, who played the last two games on special teams.

---The Kansas City Chiefs promoted tight end Dominique Jones to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and released wide receiver Chad Hall.

Jones played 10 games (three starts) in two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts (2012-13). He has three receptions for 42 yards. Jones joined the Chiefs' practice squad on Oct. 30.

Hall has played in 23 games (one start) in just over two NFL seasons with the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. Hall rejoined Kansas City on Nov. 22. He had one catch for nine yards in eight games. For his career, Hall has 15 catches for 144 yards with two touchdowns. He also returned 10 punts for 107 yards and six kickoffs for 108 yards. He was an undrafted free agent of the Eagles in 2010.

The Chiefs could be without tight end Anthony Fasano, who has been going through the league's concussion protocol. Coach Andy Reid said Friday that second-year player Sean McGrath will likely take Fasano's spot if he cannot play. Jones provides some insurance at tight end.

Fasano has also been dealing with a sore knee, although Reid said his availability will be tied to "the concussion part of it."
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