NFL news for Dec. 24
Dallas owner Jerry Jones says the Cowboys arent ruling Tony Romo out of a winner-take-all game against Philadelphia, because doctors could clear him after treating his back injury.
Jones said on his radio show Tuesday that his quarterback has proved he can play with pain but wont if doctors advise against it.
The Cowboys (8-7) and Eagles (9-6) are playing Sunday night in Dallas third straight season finale against an NFC East rival with the division title and a playoff berth on the line.
Romo was the starter in losses to the New York Giants two years ago and Washington last season. He injured his back in the fourth quarter of Sundays 24-23 win at Washington.
Kyle Orton, who hasnt started a game since 2011, is the backup. The team website had a report Tuesday night that Jon Kitna is coming out of retirement to join the Cowboys as the third quarterback.
The move is pending a physical for Kitna, 41, who retired after the 2011 season.
Jones said he had lengthy discussions with Romo and his doctors Monday about getting the 33-year-old ready to play. The owner wouldnt discuss the details of Romos injury.
If you know Tony, you cant imagine what a competitor he is, and he doesnt want to miss a snap, Jones said. He was very disappointed, particularly disappointed for his team, repeated over and over again, Jerry, I cant tell you how badly I feel relative to you and relative to my teammates.
Romo didnt miss a game in 2011 after breaking his ribs in Week 2 against the 49ers. He was heavily padded and medicated the next week against Washington and did enough to get the Cowboys an 18-16 win.
Tony will play with all the pain, Jones said. But his doctor has to clear him.
If Romo isnt cleared, Orton will make his first start since the 2011 season finale for Kansas City against Denver, the team that waived him earlier that year after making Tim Tebow the starter.
Orton signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Cowboys that offseason - an investment that Jones says was for just the scenario facing Dallas now.
The main thing is that its not like Kyle Orton just gets here this morning or gets here tomorrow morning, Jones said. Kyle Orton has been here and he knows this system frankly as well as Romo does, and has practiced it. He just doesnt have the game time that he would have had as the starter, and he doesnt get the reps.
Romo and Orton are the only quarterbacks on the roster after Alex Tanney was claimed off the practice squad by Cleveland last month.
If you dont realize that youre going to be dealing with injury information, sudden change in plans, then youre in the wrong area, Jones said. Were in as good a shape under these circumstances as you could possibly be in. We have planned on this very event.
Broncos upgrade: Denver promoted linebacker Brandon Marshall from its practice squad to replace Von Miller, who went on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Marshall is a second-year player who played in five games as a rookie for Jacksonville after being drafted in the fifth round out of Nevada.
The Broncos decided to promote Marshall, who spent the season on their practice squad, rather than bring in a free agent who hadnt been with the team.
Miller was placed on injured reserve after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament Sunday in Denvers 37-13 win at Houston. That ended a rough season that began with a six-game drug suspension and included just five sacks in 10 games for the 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Torn Achilles for Falcon: Atlanta defensive tackle Corey Peters will undergo season-ending Achilles tendon surgery after getting injured in Mondays loss to the 49ers.
Coach Mike Smith said that Peters suffered a noncontact injury and probably will be sidelined until the start of the 2014 season.
Peters, a pending unrestricted free agent, was drafted in the third round in 2010 out of Kentucky. The fourth-year starter tweeted that he plans to come back stronger than ever next year.
Bears reserve arrested: The agent for Chicago defensive tackle Henry Melton says his client didnt start an altercation at a Dallas-area bar that led to Meltons arrest.
Agent Jordan Woy released a statement that said several independent witnesses said Melton did not physically start the incident early Sunday in Grapevine, Texas.
Police said Melton became belligerent, refused to leave and punched the manager of the sports bar in the face and bit his arm. The nearly 300-pound Melton, who is from Grapevine, was charged with assault and public intoxication. He was freed on bond.