Saturday, November 28, 2015         


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Around the NFL

By Associated Press


Redskins' Portis out 4-6 weeks

ASHBURN, Va. » Clinton Portis will be out at least a month with a groin injury, putting the two-time Pro Bowl running back's future in doubt once again.

His injury leaves the Washington Redskins with a very inexperienced backfield, too.

Coach Mike Shanahan said yesterday that Portis has a third degree separation of the left groin, with the muscle separated off the bone. Portis will not require surgery, and the coach estimated a recovery time of four to six weeks.

"That's disappointing," Shanahan said, "that working so hard, playing so well, that he's got that setback."

Portis was hurt in Sunday's 17-12 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Now the only two healthy tailbacks on the roster are Ryan Torain and Chad Simpson, who have combined for 70 carries in their NFL careers heading into this week's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Portis has run for only 195 yards on 49 carries this season. He's 109 yards shy of 10,000 for his career and is 680 away from breaking John Riggins' franchise record.


Cutler practices for Bears

LAKE FOREST, Ill. » Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was hitting receivers in stride, and for once, there were no defenders near him. Of course, it was only a practice drill.

Cutler was back at it on a limited basis yesterday after a brutal 17-3 loss to the New York Giants in which he got sacked nine times in the first half and left with a concussion.

Cutler's status for this week's game at Carolina was unclear. League guidelines say he should get clearance from an "independent neurological consultant" before playing again. Todd Collins, who left Sunday's game with a stinger, would start if Cutler is not available.


Jets' Holmes practices for first time

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. » After not practicing for four weeks due to a suspension, New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was downright antsy to be on the field again yesterday. Even if it was only 6 a.m.

"I was a little upbeat this morning," he said. "I was up early, walking the dog, got myself situated, driving to practice ready to go. I sat in meetings at attention. Everything was a little bit different."

Holmes, acquired from Pittsburgh in April, is expected to make his regular-season debut for the Jets on Monday against the Minnesota Vikings. He was forced to sit the first four regular-season games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.


Brian Cushing:
Kept in shape while on
four-game suspension

LB Cushing back from suspension

HOUSTON » Houston linebacker Brian Cushing returned to practice yesterday for the first time since his four-game drug suspension and said he's eager to play again after feeling "helpless" at times watching his teammates on the field.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Cushing will play for the Texans (3-1) against the New York Giants (2-2) on Sunday.

Cushing said he'll use the rest of the week to sharpen his football techniques and relearn Houston's defensive calls and schemes.

"I'm back," Cushing said. "It's going to be the same old (No.) 56 running around. It's what I do. I take a lot of pride in playing football, and I want to be the best at it. Hopefully, I cannot skip a beat, come in Week 5, and be the player I'd be in Week 1."

Cushing wasn't shy about sharing what he did in his month away from the team.

Videos posted on YouTube in recent weeks show Cushing working out in a New Jersey gym, with hard-rock music playing in the background. Cushing turns over a giant tire, bench-presses a 347-pound barbell, dead-lifts weights attached to heavy chains and pushes a weighted sled.

Cushing said he worked out about 3-4 hours a day during his suspension, including physical therapy and studying film of Texans' games.


Raiders DT out with stress fracture

ALAMEDA, Calif. » Oakland Raiders two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle John Henderson could be sidelined for more than a month with a stress fracture in his right foot.

Coach Tom Cable disclosed the extent of the injury yesterday. He says Henderson could miss between two and five additional weeks. Henderson has already missed two games since hurting his foot in Week 2.


NFL hits Browns safety with fine

BEREA, Ohio » Cleveland Browns rookie free safety T.J. Ward, who in just four games as a pro has developed a reputation as a ferocious tackler and fearless talker, was fined $15,000 yesterday for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Cincinnati wide receiver Jordan Shipley during the fourth quarter of the Browns' win on Sunday.


Saints' Porter to miss 3-4 weeks

METAIRIE, La. » Saints coach Sean Payton says Tracy Porter had arthroscopic surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his left knee and that the starting cornerback is expected to be sidelined three to four weeks.

Porter was injured Sunday while pursing Carolina's Jimmy Clausen during a scramble. Porter left the game after the play, but then returned to the game.


NFL has more viewers than ever

NEW YORK » More than 150 million people have watched at least part of an NFL game this season, the highest number for the first four weeks of any season.

According to Nielsen, viewership is up for all four of the networks that televise NFL games. CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN are each averaging their most viewers ever to this point for their current packages.

Games are averaging 18.9 million viewers, up 9 percent from this time last year. That's more than double the average prime-time viewership of 9.2 million for the big four broadcast networks in the new TV season. The gap has grown from last year, when the NFL averaged 17.4 million to 9.3 million for prime-time programming.

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