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Reports: Bears to bench Cutler vs. Lions

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Multiple reports say the Chicago Bears are benching quarterback Jay Cutler and going with Jimmy Clausen.

ESPN first reported Wednesday that the Bears were switching quarterbacks, with Clausen getting the nod over Cutler for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, citing sources, also reported the switch.

The Bears would not confirm the move.

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49ers release McDonald amid sex probe

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Citing a pattern of behavior and off-field issues, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke informed defensive lineman Ray McDonald that he was released Wednesday amid a sexual assault investigation by San Jose police.

Baalke spoke with McDonald and his agent by phone around 11:30 a.m. PST to let them know the defender is "terminated"

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Panthers QB Newton returns to practice

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton returned to practice Wednesday eight days after a horrific-looking automobile accident left him with two fractures in his lower back.

Whether or not he starts Sunday against the Cleveland Browns remains unclear.

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Pettine calls Kosar's remarks 'dramatic'

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Browns coach Mike Pettine calls former Cleveland quarterback Bernie Kosar's harsh condemnation of the team's front office "a little dramatic."

Kosar blasted the organization Monday, a day after the Browns were shut out by Cincinnati in rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel's starting debut.

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Rivers doesn't practice, expects to play

SAN DIEGO (AP) Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers didn't practice Wednesday, although he participated in a morning walkthrough and said he expects to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night when the Chargers try to keep alive their playoff hopes.

"At this point in the week I have no doubt" about playing against the 49ers, Rivers said.

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Trestman aware of rumors of being fired

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman is aware of all the speculation about his future and acknowledges he is not getting the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler.

The Bears (5-9) have two games left in a season that derailed long ago and changes could be coming. Trestman said his focus is on preparing for Sunday's game against Detroit and halting a three-game skid.

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Painkillers suit against NFL dismissed

NEW YORK (AP) A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by 1,300 former players against the NFL, writing that the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the union was the appropriate forum to resolve claims that teams damaged the players' by routinely dispensing painkillers.

"In ruling against the novel claims asserted herein, this order does not minimize the underlying societal issue," Judge William Alsup of the U.S. Northern District in California wrote Wednesday. "In such a rough-and-tumble sport as professional football, player injuries loom as a serious and inevitable evil. Proper care of these injuries is likewise a paramount need."

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NFL employees provide records to Mueller

(AP) -- Nearly 500 employees at NFL headquarters in New York turned over phone and email records to investigators looking into how Commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff pursued and handled evidence in the Ray Rice case, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation won't be made public until former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III releases his report. The report is expected to be completed this month, one of the sources said.

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Another flyover at Jets practice

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Frustrated fans have again taken to the air against the Jets.

Another banner-toting plane calling for the ouster of embattled New York general manager John Idzik circled the field during practice for several minutes Wednesday.

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Chargers top WR Allen breaks collarbone

SAN DIEGO (AP) Keenan Allen, the San Diego Chargers' leading receiver, has a broken right collarbone, the team said Tuesday.

Allen, who has 77 catches for 783 yards and four touchdowns this season, also injured his right ankle during the Chargers' loss Sunday to the Denver Broncos.

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