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Headlines from Around the World in Sports

NFL

League to examine replay rule from Lions-Texans game

NEW YORK – A top NFL executive said the rule that negated using video replay to confirm a Houston touchdown Thursday “may be too harsh” and will be re-examined immediately.

Ray Anderson, the league’s director of football operations, says a 15-yard penalty for throwing the challenge flag on a play that is automatically reviewed might be enough.

For now, throwing the challenge flag also eliminates the use of replay; all scoring plays otherwise are reviewed.

Justin Forsett’s third-quarter 81-yard run in the Texans’ 34-31 overtime victory at Detroit initially was ruled a touchdown, although replays clearly showed his knee and elbow touched the turf when he was hit by Lions defenders. Detroit Coach Jim Schwartz challenged, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

NFL

Status of Bears QB Cutler remains uncertain

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The status of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler going into the weekend remains uncertain because of a concussion, although Coach Lovie Smith said yesterday he is optimistic about Cutler’s return.

Cutler, who missed Monday night’s 32-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, is listed as questionable against the Minnesota Vikings. Whether he plays in tomorrow’s game at Soldier Field hinges on passing a test from an independent neurologist today.

Cutler yesterday went through a second straight limited practice session. He hasn’t had a full practice yet this week. Backup Jason Campbell, who is suffering from a rib injury, went through his first full practice yesterday.

NFL

Ankle leaves Vikings WR Harvin doubtful for Bears

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings will likely be without wide receiver Percy Harvin again this weekend because of his sprained left ankle.

Harvin was listed as doubtful for the tomorrow’s game at Chicago. He tried to test his foot with some pre-practice work yesterday, but Coach Leslie Frazier said he couldn’t put much weight on it.

Harvin sprained his left ankle at Seattle on Nov. 4 and didn’t play against Detroit on Nov. 11. The bye gave Harvin last week to heal, but he still hasn’t regained enough strength and mobility in the joint to rejoin the team. Harvin entered this week second in the NFL in total yards behind Green Bay’s Randall Cobb.

NFL

Steelers S Polamalu has first practice in 7 weeks

PITTSBURGH – For the first time in seven weeks, Troy Polamalu was on the practice field with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The four-time All Pro safety has played in only five quarters this season due to a strained right calf. He had not practiced since two days before a win over Philadelphia on Oct. 7, leaving in the first quarter of that game when he re-aggravated the injury after sitting out the two prior games.

“It was a Thanksgiving-Christmas gift to see him out there,” said Polamalu’s replacement, Will Allen.

Polamalu, however, was limited in yesterday’s practice and is considered doubtful to play tomorrow when the Steelers (6-4) visit AFC North rival Cleveland (2-8).

Pittsburgh did receive some more encouraging news from another Pro Bowler. Receiver Antontio Brown indicated he was feeling better and is listed as questionable to play tomorrow.

NFL

Chargers place left tackle Gaither on season-ending IR

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chargers placed left tackle Jared Gaither on injured reserve, ending an unproductive season for a player expected to shore up a shaky offensive line.

Gaither played in only four games this season. He missed almost all of training camp and the first three games with a back injury. He injured his groin late in a loss at New Orleans and played in only two games since.

Gaither was signed off waivers after Marcus McNeill was hurt late last year, and played well in the final five games. The Chargers gave Gaither a four-year, $24.5 million contract in March.

NFL

Saints’ Vilma disappointed with Tagliabue schedule

METAIRIE, La. – Saints linebacker Jon Vilma said he’s disappointed that the new schedule for bounty hearings virtually prevents him from being able to personally confront his accusers.

Vilma said he wanted to be present for witness interviews with former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo, who assisted the NFL’s investigation into the Saints cash-for-hits pool.

The NFL is responsible for producing Cerullo in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the same day the Saints play in Atlanta. Williams is scheduled to appear Friday morning.

The schedule was set by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was appointed to oversee the latest round of appeal hearings in the matter.

Hockey

Forsberg, Sundin named to IIHF Hall of Fame class

ZURICH – Sweden greats Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin have been named to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame class for 2013.

The IIHF said the former Olympic and world champions will be inducted in Stockholm in May when their home country hosts the world championship.

Two Canadians will also be inducted: Paul Henderson, star of the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, and Danielle Goyette, a two-time Olympic champion.

Teppo Numminen of Finland, a three-time Olympic medalist, was the fifth player chosen.

The governing body also selected its former general secretary, Jan-Ake Edvinsson of Sweden, and Canadian broadcaster Gord Miller for induction.

The IIHF is also dedicating a special award to the Soviet Union team which won the inaugural world championship in 1954.

Golf

McIlroy, Donald, Warren tied for lead in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Rory McIlroy shot a 5-under 67 yesterday and was tied for the lead with Luke Donald and Marc Warren after two rounds of the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

McIlroy, the top-ranked golfer, has already won the money titles on the European and PGA tours. He was one stroke in front at 11-under 133 with Donald (68) and 189th-ranked Warren (67).

Sergio Garcia, playing for the first time since laser eye surgery, matched the course record with a 64 to leave him four shots behind.

McIlroy’s round could have been even better, but he missed several makeable putts on the front nine and an eagle putt roll past the hole at No. 14.

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