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Season over for McNair?

Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair could sit out the final three games of the season with a bruised sternum that has kept him from playing the past two games.

With the Titans (4-9) eliminated from playoff contention, coach Jeff Fisher said yesterday that he will talk with McNair in the next few days to decide the immediate future.

Fisher has said McNair, the NFL's co-MVP last season, will need up to eight weeks of inactivity for his chest to heal.

He has aggravated the injury twice, causing him to miss five games and parts of two others this season.

Erickson to Ole Miss? Mississippi has permission to interview 49ers coach Dennis Erickson about its vacant head coaching position, general manager Terry Donahue said.

Erickson has three seasons and $7.5 million remaining on his contract with the 49ers, who hired him to replace Steve Mariucci in 2003. Erickson, Donahue and owner John York have been frustrated by the Niners' 2-11 performance this season after the team went 7-9 last season.

Sticking around

The Raiders are close to signing placekicker Sebastian Janikowski to a five-year contract extension.

The 26-year-old Janikowski, the Raiders' first-round draft pick in 2000, has converted all but 3 of his 22 field goal attempts this season for the Raiders (4-9). He is 112 for 140 in his career.

Thomas injured again

Philadelphia defensive tackle Hollis Thomas could miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, this time with a dislocated elbow. Thomas, the Eagles' best run stopper, was injured in Sunday's 17-14 victory over the Redskins. He had an MRI Monday, and will miss 3-6 weeks . . . Falcons running back T.J. Duckett is expected to miss one game after undergoing surgery on his left knee. The surgery comes two days after Duckett rushed for a team-record four touchdowns in a 35-10 victory over Oakland . . . Arizona placed offensive tackle L.J. Shelton on injured reserve. He hurt his left knee in overtime Sunday during Arizona's 31-28 loss to San Francisco . . . San Francisco cornerback Ahmed Plummer, who hasn't played since Oct. 17, was placed on injured reserve because of a bulging disc in his neck. Plummer, a five-year veteran who signed a $25 million contract in March, has been bothered by neck problems since last season . . . The Browns placed center Jeff Faine on injured reserve, the 18th player and ninth starter Cleveland has lost for the season . . . The Bears placed guard Rex Tucker on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and signed safety Jason Shivers from the St. Louis Rams practice squad . . . The Bills placed rookie Tim Euhus on injured reserve with a right knee injury.

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