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NFL notebook

Chicago cuts ties with Hurd

Receiver facing federal charges

JAMES HARRISON One-game suspension upheld JAMES HARRISON One-game suspension upheld
Associated Press / December 17, 2011
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Less than an hour after Sam Hurd was cut by the Bears, defense attorney Brett Greenfield said his client planned to fight federal drug charges and wanted it made clear he never sold drugs to other NFL players. Greenfield hopes to put any rumors to rest as the wide receiver prepares to fight charges that could put him in jail for 40 years, and assess a $2 million fine, if he is convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, or half a kilogram.

“Sam has asked me to address one point, with respect to the rumors that Sam has been supplying drugs to other members of the NFL, out of respect to the NFL, out of respect to teammates and out of respect to other players, he 100 percent denies that allegation,’’ Greenfield said. “It is patently and totally false. It just didn’t happen.’’

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league was closely monitoring the situation.

Asked about a report that authorities have a list of NFL players with ties to the drug case, McCarthy said, “We are not aware of such a list.’’

US Magistrate Young Kim ordered Hurd to surrender his passport and any firearms. Hurd is expected to be tried in Texas, where the criminal complaint was filed this week by the US attorney.

Hurd waived a preliminary hearing, meaning the next step is for prosecutors to take their case before a grand jury, and was released on $100,000 bond.

Harrison must sit

The NFL denied Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s appeal of a one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. The ruling came after NFL-NFLPA on-field appeals officer Ted Cottrell reviewed the hit that drew the original suspension on Tuesday. The NFL cited Harrison’s history of flagrant hits - this was his fifth on a quarterback - in making him the first player suspended under stricter guidelines for player safety. Harrison will sit out Monday night at the 49ers.

Browns QB still out

McCoy will not accompany the team to Arizona for tomorrow’s game, but is expected to recover from his concussion and play again this season. The same can’t be said for tight end Benjamin Watson, who was placed on injured reserve after sustaining his third concussion since July in last week’s loss in Pittsburgh . . . Ben Roethlisberger was limited in practice and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians both said they’d like to see him practice at least once more before deciding if he’ll play Monday at San Francisco. Safety Troy Polamalu is expected to play vs. the 49ers despite missing practice yesterday . . . 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is recovering from a concussion and hasn’t participated in practice this week.

Hasselbeck is likely

Barring a setback, Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will start against the Colts tomorrow, after practicing yesterday despite an injured left calf. Receiver Nate Washington is listed as questionable but is expected to play, while running back Javon Ringer (broken right hand) and linebacker Gerald McRath (left ankle, knee) were declared out by the Titans . . . Raiders running back Darren McFadden and wide receiver Jacoby Ford will miss tomorrow’s game against the Lions with foot injuries . . . Jets running back Joe McKnight and defensive lineman Mike DeVito will return tomorrow at Philadelphia, but defensive back and special teams ace Marquice Cole (knee) will be out.

Johnson to sit again

The Texans will be without Andre Johnson against the Panthers tomorrow, when the receiver misses his second straight game with a strained left hamstring . . . Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s sprained ankle responded well to increased repetitions in practice this week and he is probable for tomorrow’s game against the Saints after missing three games . . . Right tackle Jammal Brown (groin) and tight end Mike Sellers (right elbow) were ruled out by the Redskins for tomorrow’s game against the Giants . . . Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (concussion) and tackle Jake Long (back) are listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game at the Bills.

Packers shorthanded

Green Bay’s high-powered offense will be without receiver Greg Jennings (knee) and possibly two of its three running backs against the Chiefs tomorrow. James Starks (knee, ankle), the team’s leading rusher, and rookie Brandon Saine (concussion) are questionable and will be game-time decisions. Defensive end Ryan Pickett was ruled out with a concussion. Linebacker A.J. Hawk is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing two games with a calf injury, but Desmond Bishop (calf), the team’s other starting linebacker on the inside, will miss a third straight game.

Jags’ owner has vision

Shahid Khan, the Jaguars’ new owner, has a long-term vision for the small-market team. Khan wants the team to expand its fan base, even if it means playing overseas. Khan, born in Pakistan, visited Jacksonville yesterday for the first time since buying the franchise for $760 million. The Jaguars lost to the Falcons, 41-14, Thursday night in Atlanta.

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