Signs positive for Cowboys on Romo
All the negative tests on quarterback Tony Romo’s bruised throwing hand are positives for the Dallas Cowboys.
Coach Jason Garrett said yesterday that the swelling is going down and that a number of different tests have confirmed the original diagnosis of nothing being broken in Romo’s right hand. The Cowboys are hopeful that he can practice tomorrow.
“It looks like it is getting better. All the X-rays and tests that have come back are negative,’’ Garrett said. “We hope in the next couple of days with treatment he’ll be able to take a snap and hold a football and throw it the way he needs to.’’
When asked if Romo could grip a football, the coach responded, “He has a relatively firm handshake.’’
All indications are that Romo will be ready for Sunday night’s game at the New York Giants that will determine who wins the NFC East and goes to the playoffs.
The Cowboys (8-7) will be without starting left guard Montrae Holland, who was put on season-ending injured reserve with a partially torn left biceps sustained in the 20-7 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday.
Walking into his news conference to kick off a week that will end with the showdown against the Cowboys, Giants coach Tom Coughlin couldn’t hide the injury.
There was a limp in his left leg, one that seemingly will bother the 65-year-old Coughlin for weeks and might eventually require medical intervention.
Coughlin didn’t care. He wasn’t going to discuss the injury sustained in Saturday’s game with the Jets when he was slammed into by D.J. Ware after the Giants running back was hit out of bounds. All that was important was Sunday night’s game at MetLife Stadium.
“Never better. I may not be able to run for a while,’’ Coughlin said of his health, adding later that he doesn’t discuss injuries.
Still, Coughlin had some fun. When asked about Ware, he joked Ware was no longer with the team.
He blamed himself for taking his eye off the play, even though he admitted the late push that resulted in a penalty came 10 yards out of bounds. He even noted he was in for treatment Sunday, just to check up on his players who were hurt in Saturday’s 29-14 win that gave the Giants bragging rights over Rex Ryan and the brash Jets, the team that co-owns the stadium where they play.
Coughlin added that he has no intention of coaching from the press box Sunday night, he wants to be on the sideline.
Ryan won’t change
The Jets are now a desperate team on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since Ryan took over as coach, with some of Ryan’s brash comments possibly serving as fuel for the Giants. But he said yesterday that he has no regrets.
“I’ll stand by everything I said,’’ Ryan said. “Did it work out? No, and I’ll be the first one to say it never worked out. I’m responsible for that. Obviously, the Giants were the better team, without question. So, I deserve the criticism that I take for it. I definitely deserve it.’’
Ryan said he has no plans to pipe down.
“I’ve always said from Day 1 that I’m going to be true to myself,’’ he said. “When I leave this job 10 or 15 years from now, I’m going to be true to myself.’’
And he also said he still has faith in quarterback Mark Sanchez and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
“I have a huge amount of confidence in both guys, there’s no doubt,’’ Ryan said.
Ryan was asked specifically about an Internet report that said the Jets are privately uncertain about Sanchez’s future, and the coach did not waver - even when it was suggested that the team could look into Peyton Manning in the offseason.
“There’s no way we are looking to replace Mark Sanchez,’’ he said.
That’s the ticket
Hot dogs, cotton candy, hot chocolate, and water. The Bengals offered refreshments yesterday to fans who lined up for a ticket promotion aimed at filling Paul Brown Stadium for the final game.
The Bengals made a buy-one, get-one-free offer to season ticket-holders for the final regular season game Sunday. Cincinnati would clinch a wild card playoff berth by beating the Ravens.
The challenge is to fill the 65,500-seat stadium, which has been one-third empty for most games this season. The Bengals have sold out only one home game, when Pittsburgh brought thousands of fans.
Cincinnati sold 41,273 tickets for its victory over Arizona Saturday, which gave the Bengals only their third winning record in the last 21 years.
The team sold a “couple thousand’’ tickets yesterday morning, said Jeff Berding, the team’s director of ticket sales.
After a four-interception performance in a loss at Buffalo on Christmas Eve, the Broncos’ Tim Tebow Sunday will be trying to beat the guy he couldn’t beat out in training camp - Kyle Orton, who brings the Chiefs to Denver with a shot at spoiling the playoff hopes of a team that shunted him aside. The Broncos can clinch the AFC West and their first playoff berth since 2005 with a win. But the Broncos might have to face Orton with a makeshift secondary. Safety Brian Dawkins left Saturday’s game with a recurring neck injury that could spell the end to his stellar 16-year NFL career. Fellow starting safety Quinton Carter pulled a hamstring, and nickel back Chris Harris hurt his neck, too. That means Denver’s starting safeties might be Raheem Moore and David Bruton, which could affect defensive coordinator Dennis Allen’s aggressive approach against Orton, who went 6-21 with the Broncos after winning his first six games with them in 2009. The Chiefs were eliminated from playoff contention last weekend.
Having lost at least 10 games for the second consecutive season, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan admitted the rebuilding project he took on was a more difficult task than he expected. “A lot longer than I first anticipated,’’ Shanahan said in the wake of the 33-26 home loss to the lowly Vikings that dropped Washington to 5-10 entering Sunday’s season finale against the Eagles in Philadelphia. “We had less depth than I thought. We were a little bit older at a few different positions. I thought we might keep those players a little longer than we did.’’ . . . Coach Raheem Morris sees a bright future for the Buccaneers and believes he should be a part of it. Morris’s job could be in jeopardy as Tampa Bay (4-11), one year after going 10-6, will try and stop a nine-game skid in Sunday’s regular-season finale at Atlanta. “I will never fire myself,’’ Morris said, two days after the Bucs were beaten, 48-16, at Carolina. “You don’t go from being a coach of a year candidate to being the worst coach in the league to get fired within a year. It’s about us. It’s a little bit of everything.’’
The Vikings expect running back Adrian Peterson to be recovered from left knee surgery for two torn ligaments in time to start the 2012 season. Peterson tore his ACL and MCL when he was hit in the side of the knee by Redskins safety DeJon Gomes in the third quarter Saturday . . . Bears coach Lovie Smith said quarterback Jay Cutler will have pins removed from his surgically repaired right thumb today. Cutler has not played since a win over the Chargers Nov. 20, when he broke his thumb trying to help make a tackle following a late interception. The Bears have since unraveled with five straight losses . . . Panthers wide receiver Legedu Naanee broke a small bone in his right foot Saturday and is done for the season.