National Football League roundup

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[December 17, 2015]  Dec 16 (The Sports Xchange) - Peyton Manning was on the practice field with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday for the first time this month, but No. 18 returned in a backup role to Brock Osweiler.

Manning is recovering from a torn plantar fascia and Osweiler was named the starting quarterback for the fourth consecutive game Sunday at Pittsburgh.

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Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, who is not out of concussion protocol, has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, coach Bill O'Brien said.

Hoyer suffered a concussion last Sunday night during the Texans' 27-6 loss to the New England Patriots. He also suffered a concussion against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 16 in a Monday night game.

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The NFL, stung by a rash of officiating mistakes this season, will alter its review procedures for the postseason to allow more communication during replay reviews with league vice president of officiating Dean Blandino in New York.

According to the new protocol, the referee can consult with Blandino or a designee at league headquarters to assess penalty yardage, proper administration of the game clock, the correct down or any other administrative matter not currently reviewable.

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No fine is expected for Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict after his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during Sunday's game, Burfict's agent said.

Audie Attar told ESPN that the NFL apparently agreed with Burfict's assertion that he was pushed into Roethlisberger while rushing the passer in the second quarter of the Steelers' 33-20 victory.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ruled out wide receiver Vincent Jackson with a knee injury for Thursday night's game against the St. Louis Rams.

Jackson, the team's second leading receiver, suffered the injury in the first half of last Sunday's 24-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. It will be Jackson's fourth game out this season.

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Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart has been ruled out with a sprained left foot for Sunday's game against the New York Giants, coach Ron Rivera said.

Stewart suffered the injury in the first half in last Sunday's 38-0 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers shut him down for the rest of the game.

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The Buffalo Bills placed cornerback Stephon Gilmore on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday due to a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Gilmore sustained a shoulder injury in the Week 13 win over the Houston Texans while trying to make a tackle.

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Christine Michael is back with the Seattle Seahawks, who dealt the running back to the Dallas Cowboys in training camp when he lost out a competition for the backup spot to Thomas Rawls.

Michael signed with the Seahawks after he was released by the Washington Redskins' practice squad earlier this week. By Sunday, he could be in uniform for the Seahawks.

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Safety Brandon Meriweather was released by the New York Giants.

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Meriweather, an eight-year veteran, joined the Giants on Aug. 16, the same day rookie safety Mykkele Thompson was placed on injured reserve because of a torn Achilles tendon.

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The New England Patriots will work out veteran free agent running back Steven Jackson, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Jackson, 32, has gone without work this season after spending the past two years with the Atlanta Falcons.

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Matt Hasselbeck missed practice, but Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said it had more to do with rest than the 40-year-old quarterback's injured ribs.

Hasselbeck wasn't present as preparation for Sunday's AFC South tussle with the Houston Texans began, and Andrew Luck wore a red non-contact jersey and did not appear to have his helmet.

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Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel is expected to play Sunday when the Cleveland Browns face the Seahawks in Seattle. He missed the last three games because of a concussion.

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Keith Wenning was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster by the Cincinnati Bengals, who needed depth behind AJ McCarron with Andy Dalton sidelined by a fractured thumb.

Wenning, 24, has a firm grasp of the offense and is familiar with the team's personnel having spent the entire season to date on the practice squad. He was with the Baltimore Ravens as a practice squad player in 2014.

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The Miami Dolphins promoted quarterback Logan Thomas from their practice squad.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Thomas originally joined Dolphins on Sept. 6 when he was claimed off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals.

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The Detroit Lions waived former starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle.

Waddle was an undrafted free agent in 2013 and ended up as the team's starter at right tackle by midseason due to injuries. He struggled with injuries in 2014 and 2015, including a season-ending ACL injury in 2014 and a concussion.

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The St. Louis Rams announced that a lawsuit and arbitration filed by the team's former Rams equipment manager, Todd Hewitt, were dismissed with prejudice by Hewitt.

Hewitt received no consideration in the settlement, ending more than four years of litigation in the matter. (Editing by Frank Pingue)

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