October 2, 2014 / 12:12 AM / 3 years ago

National Football League roundup

(The Sports Xchange) - Injured Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer missed practice Wednesday to visit a specialist about a nerve problem in his throwing shoulder.

Sep 8, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looks on after beating the San Diego Chargers 18-17 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Palmer hoped to return for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, but that now appears iffy.

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Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Frank Alexander was suspended 10 games without pay by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse, the NFL announced Wednesday.

Alexander had just returned to the Panthers on Monday after sitting out the first four games of the season for another substance abuse policy violation.

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Trying to add some finality to a fluent and fickle situation, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday that second-year upstart Austin Davis will be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

Davis was at first thought to be a stand-in for 13th-year veteran Shaun Hill, who injured his quad while trying to stand in himself for the team’s original designated starter Sam Bradford, who was knocked out for the year with a knee injury.

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Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith unloaded on his former team Wednesday, specifically targeting Carolina Panthers general manager David Gettleman for the way he was released earlier this year after 13 seasons.

“Yes, it was personal with me and Dave Gettleman,” said Wednesday on Charlotte radio station WFNZ. “Obviously, I did something that got under his skin.”

Smith got some revenge when he caught seven passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 38-10 victory over the Panthers.

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Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who has been dealing with a groin injury, is probable for Thursday night’s visit from the Minnesota Vikings.

He took part in practice on a part-time basis Tuesday and Wednesday after taking part in 60 percent of the defensive plays in the Packers’ 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

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Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith has not lost his confidence in coordinator Mike Nolan despite the team’s defensive struggles.

The Falcons (2-2) are ranked last in passing yards allowed per play (8.37), second to last in total yards allowed per game (429.9), second to last in sacks per pass attempt (2.27 percent) and 29th out of the 32 teams in points allowed per game (28.3). The defense surrendered a season-high 558 yards in a 41-28 loss to the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged Wednesday that his team’s offensive struggles this season have been going on far too long and there is no quick fix.

Brady was pulled in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s 41-14 blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I don’t think we’ve played well for a long time,” he said.

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Jon Gruden, currently an ESPN football analyst who coached the Okaland Raiders from 1998 to 2001, dismissed speculation Wednesday that his former team might be able to lure him out of the broadcast booth to fill their head coaching vacancy.

“I‘m not even thinking about coaching,” Gruden told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike. “I‘m thinking about heading to Washington next week, watching the world champions and my brother coach. That will be exciting for me.”

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The Chicago Bears signed cornerback Teddy Williams off of Arizona’s practice squad and waived linebacker Terrell Manning on Wednesday.

Manning appeared in two games for the Bears this season, seeing time on special teams. He has appeared in eight NFL contests over three seasons with Green Bay (2012), San Diego (2013) and Chicago (2014).

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed wide receiver Kevin Cone and tight end Taylor Sloat to their practice squad on Wednesday.

The Bucs also waived linebacker Carlos Fields and tight end Ian Thompson from their practice squad.

Editing by Frank Pingue

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