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November 29. 2012 9:41PM

Shoulder injury leaves Roethlisberger doubtful about playing Sunday

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters Thursday that he's still hurting from the sprained right shoulder and dislocated ribs that has forced him out of the previous two games.

Though nothing is official, Roethlisberger didn't sound optimistic about his chances of playing Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

"There's always a chance," he told reporters. Asked if the issue is pain or arm strength, Roethlisberger said "both."

The Steelers (6-5) have lost both games without Roethlisberger, who left in the third quarter of a Nov. 12 win over Kansas City.

Mathieu headed to NFL

Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu declared himself eligible for the next NFL draft, saying in a Thursday statement: "It is time for me to move forward."

Mathieu, also known as "Honey Badger," thanked his parents, coach Les Miles, former LSU teammates and fans.

"I am sorry that I was not able to complete my journey at LSU, but I will always support LSU in any way I can. To my teammates, you are my brothers. You have kept me going. I will do my best to make you all proud of me," he said.

The Heisman Trophy finalist and fast-rising NFL prospect was suspended for this season after failing an August drug test, and entered a treatment program.

He was arrested last month with three former teammates on a possession of marijuana charge. Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were later released.

Mathieu re-enrolled at LSU but didn't play football. NFLDraftScout.com had projected him as a top-40 pick before his suspension. His value will depend on how teams judge his explanation of his off-field missteps.


Packers' Benson out for season

Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson will miss the rest of the season after undergoing foot surgery, head coach Mike McCarthy announced Thursday.

Benson had been the Packers' Injured Reserve after suffering a Lisfranc injury at Indianapolis. He ran for 248 yards on 71 carries with one touchdown.

Running backs James Starks and Alex Green will continue to share time at running back.

Chargers' home game blacked out
The San Diego Chargers' home game Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals will be blacked out in Southern California, the NFL announced Thursday.

About 11,000 tickets remained unsold 72 hours prior to the 1:25 p.m. PT kickoff.

Even under the NFL's new blackout rules -- which allow a home team to lift the local blackout if 85 percent of the stadium's capacity is sold -- the game still didn't meet the TV requirements with more than 16 percent of the tickets available.

The 4-7 Chargers are mired in one of their worst seasons in a decade and the 6-5 Bengals are not known as a large draw on the road.

This will be the team's eighth blackout in their last 16 afternoon games. The blackout extends to the Los Angeles area as it falls within the 75-mile radius dictated by the NFL.

Vicks fails test
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick failed a concussion test Thursday, and likely will miss Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report.

Rookie quarterback Nick Foles would make his third NFL start in Vick's stead.

Vick couldn't reach the baseline status of an ImPACT test on Wednesday, meaning he will sit out his third straight week. The Eagles announced the test results on Thursday.

It's unlikely the Eagles would have played Vick even had he passed the test

RG3 top-selling NFL jersey

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is now leading in the retail arena, too.

The National Football League said Thursday that RG3 has the league's top selling jersey, quoting sales from its official online store, NFLShop.com. The electric rookie surpassed Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who slipped to second.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is third, followed by the New York Giants' Eli Manning and the New England Patriots' Tom Brady.

The Washington Redskins claimed linebacker Bryan Kehl off waivers Thursday, and waived linebacker Mario Addison, the team announced.

Kehl was taken by the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He has appeared in 62 games in four NFL seasons.

Kehl spent the 2012 preseason with Washington, and compiled a team-high 17 tackles. He was released Aug. 31 and eventually signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He appeared in three games this season before being waived Nov. 27.

 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

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A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

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Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

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