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Headlines from around the world in sports

  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker stretches before the start of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker stretches before the start of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, right, walks off the field with San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh after an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The 49ers defeated the Redskins 27-6. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

    Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, right, walks off the field with San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh after an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The 49ers defeated the Redskins 27-6. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

  • New Orleans Pelicans' Tyreke Evans in action during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Philadelphia.  The Pelicans win 121-105.  (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)<br/>

    New Orleans Pelicans' Tyreke Evans in action during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Pelicans win 121-105. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker stretches before the start of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
  • Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, right, walks off the field with San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh after an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The 49ers defeated the Redskins 27-6. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
  • New Orleans Pelicans' Tyreke Evans in action during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Philadelphia.  The Pelicans win 121-105.  (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)<br/>

NFL

Welker unlikely to play against Chargers

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Wes Welker is unlikely to suit up for Denver’s game Thursday against San Diego after leaving Sunday’s win over Tennessee with his second concussion in four games.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Coach John Fox didn’t rule out his receiver but said Welker’s health is the top priority and he would go through the standard NFL protocol for players who have endured concussions.

“The league is pretty strict,” Fox said. “We’re obviously concerned with any player’s health, whatever that is.”

Though there are no hard-and-fast guidelines for returning, the best-case scenario for players who pass their post-concussion tests early in the week is to return to light practice Thursday, full practice Friday and be listed as probable for the game.

Welker will be under more scrutiny because this is his second concussion since Nov. 17.

NFL

Shanahan might sit Griffin for rest of year

ASHBURN, Va. – Mike Shanahan is still the coach of the Washington Redskins, but Robert Griffin III might not be the starting quarterback this week.

Shanahan said yesterday that he was thinking about sitting Griffin for the rest of the season because of concern that the quarterback could be injured.

Shanahan pointed out Griffin has been sacked 24 times in five games, and that two of the Redskins’ three remaining games will be played on artificial turf, including Sunday at Atlanta.

It’s a change of pace of Shanahan’s previous stance that Griffin needed as many game snaps as possible to improve.

Shanahan no longer spoke as if it’s a given that he’ll be coaching the Redskins next season. He said owner Dan Snyder will make that decision at the end of the season.

NHL

Penguins place Orpik on injured reserve

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins placed defenseman Brooks Orpik on the injured reserve yesterday with a concussion.

Orpik was knocked unconscious by Boston’s Shawn Thornton in the first period of a 3-2 Bruins’ win on Saturday night. Orpik left the ice on a stretcher when Thornton grabbed Orpik from behind, threw him to the ice and punched him.

Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma said yesterday that Orpik was unconscious for “30 seconds or more.”

Orpik flew home with the team, but is out indefinitely. Bylsma said Orpik is “doing quite well” but offered no timetable on a possible return.

Pittsburgh recalled defenseman Brian Dumoulin from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League to take Orpik’s spot on the roster.

NHL

Penguins’ Neal suspended five games

PITTSBURGH – The NHL suspended Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal five games for kneeing Boston forward Brad Marchand during Boston’s 3-2 win on Saturday night.

Marchand had fallen to the ice in the second period while trying to pass when Neal skated toward Marchand.

Neal’s left knee connected with the side of Marchand’s head as Marchand tried to get up. Neal received a 2-minute penalty for kneeing, but was allowed to return to the game.

NHL vice president of player safety and hockey operations Brendan Shanahan said yesterday that Neal moved to ensure contact with Marchand.

Neal, who has 10 goals in 16 games this season, has been fined once and suspended twice during his career. He missed Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in 2012 against Philadelphia for “reckless” hits against two Flyers.

NHL

Salary cap expected to rise to $71 million

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The NHL salary cap is expected to rise to about $71 million next season, an increase of more than 10 percent.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made the optimistic announcement yesterday at the league’s board of governors meeting.

The ceiling of the salary cap is determined by hockey-related revenue generated this season, so the new figure is merely an estimate, Bettman said.

The minimum amount for teams to spend is expected to be about $52 million. The NHL has had a major recovery one season after the lockout-shortened campaign.

The upper cap for this season is $64.3 million.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Clowney gets ticket for going 110 mph

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Troopers said South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was ticketed for going 110 mph in a 70 mph zone on a South Carolina interstate.

Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. David Jones said Clowney was pulled over in a Chrysler 300 around 7:30 p.m. Saturday northbound on Interstate 77 in Fairfield County, about 25 miles north of Columbia.

Jones said Clowney was issued the ticket and allowed to drive away. It carries a $355 fine and six points, which are half the points needed to suspend a driver’s license.

The university didn’t make Clowney or Coach Steve Spurrier available to talk.

NBA

Evans’s sprained ankle to sideline him 1-2 weeks

METAIRIE, La. – The New Orleans Pelicans said guard Tyreke Evans is expected to miss up to two weeks because of his left ankle injury.

The club said further evaluation yesterday of Evans’ injury has confirmed the initial diagnosis of a sprain.

Evans was hurt while trying to drive past Kevin Durant in the third quarter of last Friday night’s loss to Oklahoma City. As Evans darted to his left, he landed on the outside of his left foot, rolling his ankle. He quickly crashed to the floor on the baseline and needed help getting to the locker room.

In 19 games this season, Evans is averaging 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals in 24.9 minutes per game.

NBA

Odom pleads no contest to DUI, gets probation

LOS ANGELES – Former NBA player Lamar Odom pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge and accepted a sentence of three years’ probation and three months of alcohol abuse treatment.

Los Angeles city attorney’s spokesman Frank Mateljan said Odom entered the plea yesterday to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. In a deal with prosecutors, he was also ordered to pay $1,814 in fines and penalties. The status of his suspended driver’s license will be determined at a separate hearing.

Odom was arrested Aug. 30 after his Mercedes-Benz SUV was spotted weaving on an LA freeway.

He is currently out of the NBA, going unsigned as a free-agent after averaging a career-low 4 points and 5.9 rebounds last season with the Los Angeles Clippers.

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