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NFL roundup: Tomlin may face discipline for sideline gaffe

The SportsXchange

An NFL official told ESPN Friday that Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin should have been penalized for stepping on the field during a play in the third quarter of Thursday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens and may be disciplined.

After the Steelers scored in the third quarter to close to within 13-7, Jacoby Jones of the Ravens returned the ensuing kickoff 73 yards. Replays showed Tomlin lingering in the white strip along the sideline, scooting away at the last second as Jones approached but perhaps causing Jones to veer off his straight line.

Tomlin was not assessed a penalty on the play.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick weighed in on Thursday night's controversial play, saying in a statement released by the Patriots on Friday that he was once "blown up" because he was not paying attention to where he was on the sideline when a player ran into him.

"Obviously we have to give the officials and the players room to play," Belichick said. "Sometimes that just happens where you get guys caught up a little bit on the sideline. But yeah, I saw the play last night. I was like, 'Oh my God, yeah.' That could easily happen to any of us. It's a good lesson, I have to be careful."

Tomlin said after the game he was not trying to interfere with Jones.

"I always watch the returns on the Jumbotron," he explained. "It provides better perspective for me. I lost my placement as he broke free and saw at the last second how close I was to the field of play."

---New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes missed practice Friday and will be a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins due to his hamstring injury.

Holmes injured the hamstring on Sept. 29 against the Tennessee Titans and missed the next five games. He played in the team's last two games, but he has suffered some kind of setback.

"We'll see how he is," coach Rex Ryan said. "He did not practice today, so I mean I'm concerned.

"It's just unfortunate because we know when this guy's healthy, he's a tremendous player. Hopefully we get him back through it and get him healthy, because we're going to need him."

Holmes has caught 13 passes for 326 yards and a touchdown, but has only managed to play in six games this season.

---Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson will miss his second consecutive game on Sunday game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Johnson sustained a sprained MCL on Nov. 18 against the New England Patriots.

The Panthers also said running back DeAngelo Williams is questionable for Sunday's game.

Williams suffered a deep thigh contusion against the Miami Dolphins last Sunday and has not practiced all week. He is listed as questionable on the Panthers' injury report along with linebacker Chase Blackburn, running back Jonathan Stewart and fullback Mike Tolbert.

"A lot of concern with DeAngelo," coach Ron Rivera said. "Everybody else we'll see how they are tomorrow. They had good practices today."

---Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said it is not certain quarterback Aaron Rodgers can play next week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Rodgers has another 10 days before the Packers play again on Dec. 8, but he is not fully recovered from his broken collarbone.

"I don't know that," McCarthy said Friday. "I just know when we came off the field Wednesday that he wasn't ready to play yet. So we'll see how the testing goes, but it needs to be the right thing. I know he wants to play. I know he's trying to gear up each and every week to play, but we'll see what happens next week."

The game against the Falcons will be 34 days from Rodgers' Nov. 4 injury. Doctors had said he would need six to eight weeks to be healed.

The Packers (5-6-1) are coming off an embarrassing 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thursday.

---Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno practiced fully on Friday and appears set to play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Moreno sustained a right ankle bone bruise last Sunday night against the New England Patriots and was on crutches after the game. He ran for a career-best 224 yards with 37 carries in the game.

Moreno missed practice Wednesday but returned Thursday. The team listed him on the injury report as probable after Friday's session.

---Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali will play Sunday against the Denver Broncos but the team will be without linebacker Justin Houston.

They were injured during last Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.

Hali said Friday his injured ankle is much better but Houston is out with a dislocated right elbow.

"I'm to the point where I can do what I like doing," Hali said.

An MRI revealed sprained ligaments and torn muscles in the elbow. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he does not believe Houston's injury is season-ending.

---The NFL fined Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay $15,750 for his hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell during last Sunday's game.

Campbell sustained a concussion on the play in which Gay made contact with Campbell's face mask. He has not practiced this week and will not play for the Browns against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Gay did not get assessed a penalty for the hit.

In announcing the fine, the NFL stated that Gay "unnecessarily delivered a forcible blow to his opponent's head and neck area."

---St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy was cleared to play Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, five days after sustaining a concussion.

Stacy, a rookie, was listed as probable on the team's injury report. He was injured last Sunday against the Chicago Bears. He could still be inactive if concussion symptoms return, such as headaches or dizziness.

The fifth-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt has 624 rushing yards to lead the Rams.

Undrafted rookie Benny Cunningham is in line for extended playing time if Stacy cannot play.

---The Dallas Cowboys fear that running back Lance Dunbar's injured left knee will require season-ending surgery, ESPN reported Friday.

Dunbar was injured in the fourth quarter of Thursday's win over the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys initially diagnosed the injury as a sprain. The Dallas Morning News reported that Dunbar was scheduled for an MRI on Friday.

If Dunbar has surgery, he is expected to need three months to recover.

Dunbar rushed for a game-high 82 yards on 12 carries against Oakland.

---The NFL fined Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for making a throat-slashing gesture after making a tackle during last Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Earlier this season, Suh was fined $100,000 for a low block on Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman John Sullivan and $31,500 for leading with his helmet while tackling Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Suh has been fined nine times in his NFL career and suspended two games in 2011 for stomping on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.

---Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey may sit out a second game as punishment for missing a team meeting last Saturday, according to ESPN.

Mincey was suspended for last Sunday's game against the Houston Texans after missing a team meeting before the team's trip to Houston.

Coach Gus Bradley said Friday that he wants to meet with Mincey on Saturday before making a final decision, but might keep him off the active roster for Sunday's game at the Cleveland Browns.

"I'm leaning towards that, but I have not yet discussed it with him (and) the team," Bradley said. "I will hopefully today some and finalize it again tomorrow."

---Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman said Thursday that he expects defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

Ratliff, who announced that he prefers to be known as Jeremiah instead of Jay, has not played in more than a year because of a groin injury. He was released by the Dallas Cowboys and picked up by the Bears earlier this season.

Trestman said that Ratliff is "in line to go" after practicing on Thursday.

Running back Matt Forte practiced Thursday after missing Wednesday's session with a slightly hyperextended knee.

While Forte practiced only on a limited basis, he said he felt good.

Trestman said he expects Forte to Sunday against the Vikings.

---New England Patriots rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson was ruled out of Sunday's game at the Houston Texans because of a foot injury.

Dobson was injured last Sunday against the Denver Broncos and did not practice this week.

In 10 games, Dobson has 35 catches for 492 yards with four touchdowns.

Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins will likely fill in for Dobson. Thompkins has 31 catches for 450 yards with four touchdowns. He replaced Dobson in the second half against Denver when he got hurt.

Also, starting right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) and reserve tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (knee) are out. Starting cornerbacks Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (knee), and starting safety Steve Gregory (thumb) are among the Patriots listed as questionable.
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