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Roundup: NFL to pay replacements through weekend

The SportsXchange

The NFL will pay the 112 replacement officials for this weekend's games even though they are no longer working.

Each referee will make $3,500 and other officials $3,000, even though regular officials will take the field after hammering out an eight-year deal with the league on Wednesday. The deal was ratified Saturday.

The league will dole out $344,000 in all to the replacement officials for this weekend's games, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King.

---New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was ruled out for Sunday's game at the Philadelphia Eagles after developing swelling in his left knee, the team announced Saturday.

He missed the Giants' Week 3 victory at the Carolina Panthers with soreness in his surgically-repaired right foot.

Nicks landed on the knee in the Week 2 victory over Tampa Bay and it was stepped on in the process during the play.

Before Saturday, Nicks was previously listed as doubtful on the team's injury report, but he did not make the trip to Philadelphia.

---New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is listed as questionable for Sunday's game at the Buffalo Bills, according to NFL.com.

Gronkowski showed up on Friday's list with a hip injury. If Gronkowski does not play Sunday, he will join Aaron Hernandez, who has been out with an ankle injury. The two tight ends combined for offseason contracts worth $95 million.

Gronkowski has 14 receptions for 156 yards with two touchdowns in three games. He has 22 catches for 314 yards with seven touchdowns in four games against Buffalo for his career.

Because of Hernandez's absence, Gronkowski has been asked to block more so he has received fewer targets this year.

As a result, wide receivers Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd have been more involved in the offense.

The Patriots also signed offensive lineman Matt Tennant, the team announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tennant, 25, is a two-year NFL veteran who played 28 games for the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans waived him in August. He was picked up by the Patriots, who waived him earlier this month before picking him up again.

---Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte was limited during Saturday's practice and is listed as questionable for Monday night's game at the Dallas Cowboys, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Forte sprained his right ankle in a Sept. 13 loss at the Green Bay Packers and missed last Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams. He returned to practice this week but on a limited basis.

Running backs coach Tim Spencer implied that Forte would be ready to play.

"Matt looks good," Spencer said. "Matt does everything that he's supposed to do to try to get ready. Looks good to me."

Defensive end Julius Peppers (plantar fasciitis) and linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee) missed practice time this week but are expected to play. Wide receiver Earl Bennett (hand) is listed as questionable. Fullback Evan Rodriguez (sprained MCL, left knee) has been ruled out.
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