NFL roundup: Bears' Urlacher hurt, Redskins' Griffin suspended

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


The Chicago Bears may have lost linebacker Brian Urlacher for the rest of the regular season. The Chicago Tribune, citing two unnamed sources reported that Urlacher's has suffered a Grade-2 hamstring strain, that could knock him out for 3-4 games.
To shore up their linebacking corps, the Bears signed linebacker Dom DeCicco to the 53-man roster Tuesday, bringing back a player who had been released three months prior with an injury settlement.
Urlacher hurt his right hamstring during overtime of the Bears' 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and head coach Lovie Smith told reporters Monday that Urlacher had a pulled hamstring.
DeCicco isn't likely to fill Urlacher's role should the veteran sit out against the Vikings. The Bears finished Sunday's game with Nick Roach in the middle and Geno Hayes in Roach's normal spot at strong-side linebacker. Pro Bowl weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs played in the middle at Arizona, but has settled into an outside linebacker spot and would not be shifted in the event of an injury, Smith said during training camp.
The Bears play at Minnesota before hosting the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 16.

---Washington Redskins cornerback Cedric Griffin has been suspended for the next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances, the NFL announced.
His suspension will begin immediately. Griffin can return to the active roster Dec. 31, a day after the game against the Dallas Cowboys.

---In details revealed by the Kansas City Star, Jovan Belcher's mother heard gunshots, and then ran to find the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker leaning over Kasandra Perkins in the bathroom He said he was sorry and kissed her forehead. Next, he apologized to his mother, kissed his 3-month-old daughter and left.
He raced to the Arrowhead Stadium, where he met general manager Scott Pioli, then head coach Romeo Crennel and linebackers coach Gary Gibbs. Amid the backdrop of approaching police cars, Belcher reportedly said, "I got to go. I can't be here"
He then knelt behind a vehicle, made the sign of the cross and shot himself once in the head, the Star said.
Sources told the paper that the couple had been arguing over their relationship and finances for months. Belcher's mother moved in to help with their relationship.
Other reports said that Chiefs officials knew Belcher and Perkins were having relationship troubles, and had provided counseling, police Sgt. Richard Sharp told the Star.
Investigators believe Belcher killed himself because he was distraught over shooting Perkins, Sharp said.
"He cared about her," Sharp said. "I don't think he could live with himself."

Arizona tight end Todd Heap, whose signing two years ago was seen as a homecoming for the Pro Bowl player, was cut by the Cardinals on Tuesday.
In his place, the Cardinals signed free-agent tight end Kory Sperry, who was with the San Diego Chargers before he was cut in September.
Heap, who went to Mesa (Ariz.) Mountain View High School and Arizona State University, played 10 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens before signing with the Cardinals in 2011.
However, he has played 12 games with Arizona since then. He missed six games last season with a hamstring injury and 10 this year with a posterior cruciate ligament injury suffered during the Cardinals' win at New England.
Heap had 32 catches for 377 yards and one touchdown in Arizona. He had 499 career receptions for 5,869 yards and 42 touchdowns. He played in two Pro Bowls, his second and third seasons.

---Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has continued to improve the strength and range of motion in his shoulder, as the soreness in his shoulder and chest have diminished, according to an ESPN.com report, citing a source.
Head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he and his coaches will determine this week whether Roethlisberger can return from a three-week absence. Roethlisberger must first demonstrate he can make the necessary throws, something he couldn't do last week.
Backup Charlie Batch has started the past two games and led the Steelers to a must-win game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Also, the team had planned to work out cornerback Stanford Routt, according to the Houston Chronicle, but that changed when Routt signed with the Texans.
The Steelers are preparing for life without Ike Taylor, who left early during Sunday's game and didn't return. He has 32 tackles and an interception this season. Tomlin said Taylor fractured his right ankle, and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

---The father of Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen passed away Monday from heart problems.
Allen had left the team Sunday night to be with his father, former NFL player Grady Allen He plans to return Wednesday night and coach the team against Denver on Thursday, the team said.
"The organization wishes to extend its most sincere condolences to Coach and his entire family," the Raiders said through the team's Twitter account.
The Raiders are 3-9 in Allen's first year with the team. He was the Broncos' defensive coordinator last season.
Also, the Raiders signed running back Jamize Olawale from the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.
Olawale is the second player the Raiders have signed from another team's practice squad this season, following DB Brandian Ross, who was added from Green Bay Sept. 19. Olawale spent training camp with the Cowboys.

---New York Giants right tackle Sean Locklear will miss the rest of season with a right-knee injury suffered during Monday's loss to the Washington Redskins, according to a USA Today report.
Locklear is believed to have a torn ACL, and perhaps something more severe, USA Today reported, though Giants head coach Tom Coughlin only called it a "severe knee sprain."
David Diehl, who started at right tackle before and after missing three weeks after a knee injury suffered in Week 2, will resume his role down the stretch.

---Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley had a charge of misdemeanor possession dismissed Tuesday in Alabama, ESPN.com reported.
Police stopped Fairley on April 3 and searched his car when an officer smelled marijuana. They found two hand-rolled marijuana cigarettes, but a passenger said they were his.
Fairley has passed regular drug tests given by the NFL since his arrest. He passed a drug test Tuesday, which led to prosecutors asking for charges to be dropped.
Fairley has 4.5 sacks, 30 tackles and a forced fumble this season.
Also defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh won't be punished for his latest brush with brutality, ESPN.com reported, citing a league source.
Indianapolis Colts players accused Suh of giving right tackle Winston Justice a concussion Sunday while blocking on an interception return, then mocked him.
Suh wasn't penalized, and the league found no type of violation on a replay.

---The Houston Texans signed free agent Stanford Routt on Tuesday, according to a Houston Chronicle report.
Routt hadn't hooked up with an NFL team since being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs last month. He had also worked out for the Detroit Lions.
The Texans were without top corner Johnathan Joseph last week, and lost nickel cornerback Brice Mccain to foot surgery Monday. They are scheduled to play the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.

---New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow phoned a New York teenager who is hospitalized with injuries sustained in a car accident.
Tebow's call to Matt Hardy came in response to a Twitter plea that went viral. The 17-year-old Shenendehowa High School student was involved in a two-car crash Saturday night that killed two fellow students, according to reports. The driver of the other car failed alcohol tests at the scene, the reports said.
The hashtag #TebowCallMatt received more than 50,000 Twitter retweets. Tebow called Hardy at around 9 p.m. ET. Hardy's brother, Michael, tweeted: "TIM TEBOW JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH MATT! SUCH A CLASS ACT!!"
Tebow later tweeted: "Thanks to everyone who got #TebowCallMatt trending & helped connect us. Matt truly inspired me. God bless y'all."

---Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr collapsed during a speech in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, but appears to be all right.
Starr, a star for the Green Bay Packers, had spoken at the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority conference at Monona Terrace, and collapsed on stage.
The 78-year-old then sat up and was fine, Authority spokesman Kevin Fischer told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Starr was coherent, left the convention center with his wife, Cherry, and was taken to the Dane County Regional Airport.

---The San Francisco 49ers announced Tuesday that they have signed linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis to the practice squad, and released safety Eddie Whitley.
Hoffman-Ellis originally signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent on May 8, and was later released following training camp. The 23-year old played at Washington State.

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