NFL ROUNDUP \ News and notes
Steelers: Linebackers Joey Porter and Kendrell Bell missed practice Wednesday with flulike symptoms. The players became ill a day after all 53 Steelers players practiced together for the first time this season. "I think it was, hopefully, a 24-hour thing," coach Bill Cowher said. "We didn't want to take any chances getting them around the rest of the players. Both guys will be back [today], ready to go."
Vikings: Randy Moss didn't practice Wednesday because of a sprained right ankle, but he's listed as probable for Sunday's playoff game at Philadelphia. Also held out of practice were strong safety Corey Chavous, who is doubtful with a broken left elbow, and running back Moe Williams, who is doubtful with a sprained right ankle. Wide receiver Kelly Campbell, who has a separated right shoulder, and linebacker Mike Nattiel, who has a hyperextended right knee, did practice and are probable for the Eagles game. Also, owner Red McCombs asked Fox Sports to remove play-by-play announcer Joe Buck from Sunday's playoff game at Philadelphia because of his sharp criticism of Moss, and was turned down by the network.
Patriots: Defensive end Richard Seymour was listed Wednesday as questionable for Sunday's playoff game against the Colts. Seymour, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman, missed at least part of practice with a knee injury that kept him out of the final regular-season game.
Eagles: Linebacker Mark Simoneau is doubtful for Sunday's playoff game against Minnesota because of a strained ankle. Simoneau, who moved from middle linebacker to the weakside spot midway through the season, was injured in Philadelphia's final regular season game against Cincinnati. Former starter Nate Wayne and Keith Adams likely will split time in Simoneau's place. Wide receiver Terrell Owens, out with an injured ankle, is the only other Eagles player expected to miss the game. All-Pro free safety Brian Dawkins practiced for the first time after having the flu for more than a week. Defensive tackle Hollis Thomas (elbow) and defensive end Derrick Burgess (chest) are back after missing the final part of the season.
Bengals: The Hamilton County prosecutor's office ended its opposition to a lawsuit filed against the team over its stadium lease. Prosecutor Joe Deters decided on Wednesday to reverse his predecessor's decision. Former prosecutor Mike Allen had gone to court to try to block county commissioners from suing the NFL team. Deters changed his office's approach because he considered it "poor public policy." A countywide increase in the sales tax funded Paul Brown Stadium, which cost $458 million and opened for the 2000 season. Former county commissioner Bob Bedinghaus led the campaign to raise taxes for the stadium, and was later voted out of office when it far exceeded cost estimates.