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Smith cut after PAT snap miss

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ASHBURN, Va. » After letting the snap on an extra-point attempt go through his hands in a one-point loss, Washington Redskins punter-holder Hunter Smith said: "If anybody needs to lose their job, it’s me."

Smith lost his job yesterday. The Redskins cut him, two days after his gaffe in the 17-16 loss to Tampa Bay.

The Redskins replaced Smith with Sam Paulescu, who takes over both punting and holding duties in a job that has become a revolving door. Smith and Paulescu were two of four punters used by the Redskins last year, and Paulescu becomes the third punter this year.

Smith mishandled the PAT snap after the Redskins pulled within one point on a touchdown with 9 seconds to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Redskins lost 17-16 to fall to 5-8.

Smith was also struggling as a punter. His gross average of 40.5 ranks 30th in the NFL, and his net average of 33.7 yards ranks 31st.

 

Vikings still need Favre

Brett Favre’s career isn’t quite over yet.

The Minnesota Vikings have been eliminated from playoff contention, but they still need someone to play quarterback for their final three games. Interim coach Leslie Frazier said the 41-year-old Favre is his choice — and he may be back in time for Monday night’s game against Chicago.

 

Metrodome unplayable

The owner of the Metrodome says repairs to its snow-damaged roof won’t be ready in time for the Vikings home game Monday night against the Chicago Bears.

Members of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities said yesterday that inspectors found damage from the weekend’s blizzard was worse than initially thought.

The University of Minnesota is clearing snow from its TCF Bank Stadium as a likely spot for the game, which Vikings officials say they want to play in Minnesota.

 

Disciplining agents in works

NFL players union head DeMaurice Smith held a conference call with agents to discuss possibly changing the certification process and how agents are disciplined for violating rules.

Several people familiar with yesterday’s call tell the Associated Press that Smith expressed interest in reviewing how agents are approved by the NFLPA, and what the qualifications should be to become a pro football agent. The call comes 11 days after agent Gary Wichard was suspended for nine months by the union for his role in a recruiting scandal involving the University of North Carolina.

 

Seattle places Butler on IR

The Seattle Seahawks have placed wide receiver Deon Butler on injured reserve and signed offensive lineman Paul Fanaika off Cleveland’s practice squad. Butler suffered a broken right leg catching a 2-yard touchdown pass late in Seattle’s 40-21 loss to San Francisco. Butler underwent surgery Sunday night at Stanford Hospital and was expected to remain in the Bay Area for a few days.

 

Bills’ Evans out for year

Buffalo Bills receiver Lee Evans was placed on season-ending injured reserve yesterday, two days after suffering a sprained ankle in Buffalo’s win over Cleveland.

 

Week 15

Tomorrow
San Francisco at San Diego, 3:20 p.m.

Sunday
Kansas City at St. Louis, 8 a.m.
Washington at Dallas, 8 a.m..
Houston at Tennessee, 8 a.m.
Arizona at Carolina, 8 a.m.
Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants, 8 a.m.
Detroit at Tampa Bay, 8 a.m.
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 8 a.m.
Buffalo at Miami, 8 a.m.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 8 a.m.
New Orleans at Baltimore, 8 a.m.
Atlanta at Seattle, 11:05 a.m.
Denver at Oakland, 11:15 a.m.
N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh, 11:15 a.m.
Green Bay at New England, 3:20 p.m.

Monday
Chicago at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m.

 

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