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NFL Roundup: Pierce likely to start for Ravens, Bucs release Hillis

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Bernard Pierce is "slated" to start Sunday at running back for the Baltimore Ravens in place of the injured Ray Rice, the Baltimore Sun reported Saturday.

Rice has started 43 straight regular-season games but is listed as doubtful on the team's injury report. Rice did not practice during the week.

Coach John Harbaugh said Friday that Rice will be a game-time decision. However, the Sun cited a source who said that Pierce is expected to start and that Rice's hip injury will likely last for two weeks.

---The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released running back Peyton Hillis, according to NFL.com.

Hillis, a former seventh-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2008, broke out in 2010 when he rushed for 1,177 yards with 11 touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns.

He made the cover of the Madden NFL video game the following season but his popularity faded after a disappointing 2011 in which he rushed for just 587 yards in 10 games.

After getting released by Cleveland, he spent last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He played 13 games but totaled just 309 yards on the ground. He then signed with the Buccaneers in the offseason.

Hillis did not play Tampa Bay's first two games.

---Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown did not make the trip to Baltimore for Sunday's game against the Ravens because of a toe injury, according to ESPN.com.

Brown was injured in the first half of last Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. Brown, an All-Pro, finished the game after sitting out five plays but was later diagnosed with turf toe.

He started 78 straight games after getting selected by the Texans in the first round of the 2008 draft.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Brown could play as of Friday despite not practicing. He was listed as questionable on the team's injury report.

Ryan Harris will start in place of Brown.

---New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster was downgraded from doubtful to out for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

Webster did not make the team's trip to Charlotte, N.C., due to a hip injury.

Veteran Aaron Ross is expected to start in place of Webster.

---Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis is questionable for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions with an ankle injury. Davis has three catches for 25 yards this season since coming back from an Achilles injury last year.

Rookie Jordan Reed will likely get increased playing time, even if the struggling Davis does play.

---Tim Tebow reportedly rejected a $1 million proposal to play football for a Russian team.

Moscow Black Storm owner Mikhail Zaltsman e-mailed Russian sports/news service R-Sport on Saturday, writing that Tebow refused his offer.

Zaltsman's offer included $1 million to play in two playoff games for the Black Storm. Zaltsman wanted Tebow to fly to Moscow for the team's semifinal against the Moscow Patriots in the American Football Championship of Russia on Sept. 28 and also play in the final if they advance.

Tebow's agents reportedly urged him not to play.

---ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale apologized for comparing Houston Texans running back Arian Foster to a prostitute.

In a clip previewing the upcoming documentary, Schooled: The Price of College Sports, Foster admits to taking money "on the side" while he starred at Tennessee.

"I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation -- my senior year, I was getting money on the side," Foster said. "I really didn't have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, 'Man, be careful.' But there's nothing wrong with it. And you're not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it."

Vitale responded to Foster's comments via Twitter on Friday, writing: "When they put their hand out like a prostitute & take it they don't say a word - moaning yrs later = SAD!"

Saturday, Vitale apologized for the remark via Twitter.

"I apologize if it offended u that I used prostitute 4 athletes taking cash. @marcisenberg made a gr8 point about NCAA rules @ term illegal."

Foster played at Tennessee from 2005-08.

The 90-minute documentary airs on EPIX on Oct. 16.

---Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas was fined $5,000 for wearing wrong-colored socks during last Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

NFL rules regarding team uniforms only allow Lions players to wear blue or white socks. Delmas wore blue and black socks, which violated the league's dress code.

Delmas said he was not told by the team's equipment staff that his socks were in violation.

---For the second straight week, wide receiver Jeremy Ebert has been promoted from the practice squad to the Jacksonville Jaguars' 53-man roster for Sunday's game at Seattle.

And just like last week, Jacksonville waived offensive guard Jacques McClendon to make space, the team said.

Ebert caught one pass for five yards against the Oakland Raiders last week. He then was waived Monday as McClendon was re-signed. On Tuesday, Ebert was re-signed to the practice squad.

---The Cincinnati Bengals promoted cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris from their practice squad and cut safety Jeromy Miles.

Lewis-Harris spent much of last season on the practice squad but played in the Bengals' playoff loss against the Houston Texans in January.

Miles was cut after the season opener, before re-signing Wednesday and then getting cut again.

---The home of the Oakland A's and Raiders is having plumbing problems again.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that heavy rain caused flooding in the A's coaches' bathroom before the game against the Minnesota Twins.

A's catcher Kurt Suzuki said sewage was flowing out of the faucets.

It is the second time this week that plumbing-related problems occurred at the Coliseum. Sewage made its way into the home dugout on Tuesday.

Earlier this season, sewage flooded the visiting manager's office and team locker rooms during an A's-Seattle Mariners game. Seattle manager Eric Wedge had to hold postgame interviews outside the office and both teams were forced to shower in the Raiders' locker room.
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