Monday's Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Monday's Sports In Brief
December 24, 2013, 3:56 am

PRO FOOTBALL

IRVING, Texas (AP) Dallas coach Jason Garrett said on Monday that Tony Romo hasn't been ruled out for a winner-take-all finale against Philadelphia after injuring his back against Washington.

Garrett said Romo will get treatment and be evaluated daily, and that the Cowboys were looking to add a third quarterback behind backup Kyle Orton.

Romo injured his back in Sunday's 24-23 win over Washington, which set up the Cowboys' third straight regular-season finale with the NFC East title on the line. The 33-year-old Romo lost the previous two against the New York Giants and Redskins, and another one in 2008 against the Eagles.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn't sure if quarterback Aaron Rodgers will start the team's winner-take-all NFC North matchup with the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

McCarthy did say that the team wants to make a decision on Rodgers' availability "sooner than later."

Rodgers, who has not played since fracturing his left collarbone against the Bears at Lambeau Field on Nov. 4, has missed the past seven games.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Denver Broncos strongside linebacker Von Miller is done for the year after tests revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which he injured in the first quarter of Denver's 37-13 win at Houston over the weekend.

"It's definitely going to be a blow," executive vice president John Elway said on his weekly podcast on the team's website.

The Broncos (12-3) can wrap up the AFC's top seed with a win at Oakland (4-11) on Sunday.

The injury ended a rough third season for Miller, who started the season by serving a six-game drug suspension. He finished with five sacks and 33 tackles in 10 games.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz reversed field and acknowledged he should have kept his thoughts to himself instead of shouting at booing fans.

Schwartz reluctantly admitted he did say something to the crowd during the final seconds of the fourth quarter of Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants.

The previous day at his postgame news conference, Schwartz insisted he wasn't responding to the fans who voiced their displeasure with the decision to play for overtime.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is "highly doubtful" for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons with a left knee sprain.

However, coach Ron Rivera is optimistic Smith will be ready for the playoffs.

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A judge may impose a formal gag order in the murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez after his attorneys accused the state of allowing leaks they contend could jeopardize his right to a fair trial.

At a hearing in Fall River Superior Court, defense attorney Michael Fee blamed prosecutors for out-of-court statements reported in the media that he says have tarnished the ex-player.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the June shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn's Gus Malzahn was honored as The Associated Press national coach of the year for transforming an Auburn team that had just gone through the program's worst season in decades into Southeastern Conference champions.

The second-ranked Tigers are playing for the national championship against No. 1 Florida State on Jan. 6.

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - Akron assistant coach Alan Arrington was killed in a car accident in his native Mississippi. He was 44.

Arrington, nicknamed Tank, was an assistant head coach on Terry Bowden's staff and also worked with the offensive line. He coached at North Alabama and Mississippi earlier in his career.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Colorado State defensive line coach Greg Lupfer was suspended without pay for two weeks for using a gay slur when yelling at Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday in the New Mexico Bowl last weekend.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Boise State University quarterback Joe Southwick said he was unfairly dismissed from the Hawaii Bowl, arguing he was falsely accused of urinating from a hotel balcony.

Southwick, a senior who was sent home Friday by interim head coach Bob Gregory shortly after the team arrived in Hawaii, took a polygraph test after arriving in Boise in his bid to prove his innocence, KTVB reported Sunday.

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PRO BASKETBALL

BEIJING (AP) - Former NBA star Dennis Rodman left North Korea, but he plans to return next month - even if a sponsor won't be with him.

Rodman's short visit was aimed at finalizing plans to bring 11 other former NBA players to Pyongyang for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking Kim Jong Un's birthday. The two struck up a friendship when Rodman first traveled to the secretive state earlier this year, but Rodman did not answer questions from the media on whether he had met with Kim this time.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - New York forward Carmelo Anthony will be evaluated Tuesday after he left the Knicks' 103-98 win over the Orlando Magic with a sprained left ankle.

Anthony led the Knicks with 19 points before leaving the game Monday night with 7:26 left in the third quarter.

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Arizona is No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the third straight week.

The Wildcats (12-0) are again a runaway choice, receiving 63 No. 1 votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Syracuse drew the other No. 1 votes and was No. 2, with the top eight teams holding their spots from last week.

Ohio State is third followed by Wisconsin, Michigan State, Louisville, Oklahoma State and Villanova. Duke drops to ninth after it was tied for eighth last week with Villanova. Wichita State is No. 10, its first top 10 ranking since spending two weeks at No. 8 in December 2006.

In women's basketball, UConn remains the unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll after two easy wins over ranked foes.

The Huskies routed then-No. 2 Duke by 22 points Tuesday before defeating then-No. 21 Cal by 33 on Sunday.

Notre Dame moved into the No. 2 slot, while the Blue Devils fell to third. Stanford is fourth after beating Tennessee, which dropped two spots to fifth.

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SAILING

In a strong sign that the America's Cup could return to San Francisco in 2017, Mayor Ed Lee has proposed to organizers that the main venue and team bases be centralized on the Embarcadero and that the schedule be more consistent and condensed.

The city and the America's Cup Event Authority must still agree to a host city agreement for the 35th America's Cup, with that agreement needing the approval of the Board of Supervisors.

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ENDURANCE RACING

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Badwater 135 will be taking a detour in 2014 after Death Valley National Park placed a moratorium on cycling and running competitions until it can determine their safety.

The study should be done by next spring and the events could start being scheduled again after Oct. 1, Death Valley spokeswoman Cheryl Chipman said Monday.

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