Shanahan sits RG3; Cousins will start for Redskins (Yahoo Sports)
It takes quite the sales job to explain why a medically cleared Robert Griffin III won't play for the rest of the season. Embattled Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan realized that and gave it his best shot Wednesday, speaking passionately at times in a 28-minute news conference that included references to the team's ''circus atmosphere'' and insistences that the move isn't a ploy to get himself fired. The upshot is that Griffin will be the inactive third quarterback for the Redskins' final three games, behind starter Kirk Cousins and backup Rex Grossman. Shanahan's reasoning is that he fears Griffin, who has taken a pounding in recent weeks, will get hurt, and that would ruin the franchise player's offseason - a reversal of Shanahan's oft-stated position that Griffin needed as much game experience as possible and would play to the end of the season.
Trestman optimistic Cutler will play this week (Yahoo Sports)
Quarterback Jay Cutler looks just about ready to play for the Chicago Bears. For linebacker Lance Briggs, the wait might go on. Coach Marc Trestman is optimistic Cutler will return from an ankle injury this week against the Cleveland Browns. He was set to work with the receivers after Wednesday's walkthrough, and Trestman said the Bears will know Thursday if he's ready to start.
Sit or play? Rodgers Watch resumes for Pack (Yahoo Sports)
Aaron Rodgers took some first-team snaps in practice Wednesday, though the Packers' franchise quarterback still hasn't been cleared to play in a game. If that stands through the rest of week, backup Matt Flynn is back in for Rodgers when Green Bay visits the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in a game critical to both teams' playoff hopes. It's been a mixed bag of news this week for Packers fans anxious to find out when Rodgers will adorn the No. 12 jersey again in a game. The Packers are 1-4-1 since Rodgers fractured his left collarbone in a 27-20 loss Nov. 4 to the Bears, though they regained confidence following the come-from-behind, 22-21 victory last week over Atlanta.
Vikings: Peterson not ready for practice yet (Yahoo Sports)
The Minnesota Vikings know who'll be giving the handoffs this week, even if they're not sure yet who'll be taking them. He probably won't participate until Friday at the earliest, and coach Leslie Frazier said he's more optimistic about the condition of backup Toby Gerhart than he is with Peterson. Matt Cassel will start at quarterback again, though. Christian Ponder, cleared to play following his concussion, will be the backup.
Welker ruled out against Chargers with concussion (Yahoo Sports)
Wes Welker won't play Thursday night against San Diego as he recovers from his second concussion in less than a month. Broncos coach John Fox officially ruled him out Wednesday. The NFL's protocol for concussed players would have allowed Welker only to participate in light practice Thursday and only if he had passed baseline cognitive tests earlier in the week. For competitive purposes, Fox had been coy about Welker's status during the week, other than to say the receiver's health was the team's top priority.
Jaguars want to give Jones-Drew another contract (Yahoo Sports)
The Jacksonville Jaguars want running back Maurice Jones-Drew back next season. Jones-Drew is doing all he can to make it happen. He's all in, fully committed to what's happening in Jacksonville under coach Gus Bradley, general manager Dave Caldwell and owner Shad Khan. ''I want to be here,'' Jones-Drew said.
Cromartie, Hill don't practice for Jets (Yahoo Sports)
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and wide receiver Stephen Hill didn't practice, and both might not play Sunday at Carolina.
Cowboys' Selvie, Scandrick fined for hits (Yahoo Sports)
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Dallas defenders George Selvie and Orlando Scandrick have been fined by the NFL for hits in the Cowboys' loss to Chicago.
Koetter saying little about Boise State interview (Yahoo Sports)
Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn't saying much about his recent interview with Boise State. Koetter confirmed on Tuesday that he met with Boise State officials, but declined to elaborate. ''All I can tell you is the same thing (Falcons head coach Mike Smith) told you yesterday,'' Koetter said. ''I did talk to Boise State, and that's really all I'm going to say about that right now.'' In two seasons with Atlanta, Koetter has had mixed results.
Ravens place WR Stokley on injured reserve (Yahoo Sports)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- The Baltimore Ravens have placed wide receiver Brandon Stokley on injured reserve, ending his season.