Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ex-Buc John Lynch Hall of Fame semifinalist again

Former Bucs safety John Lynch once again is a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, making the cut for the fifth straight year in the group of 26 announced Wednesday.

Lynch played 11 seasons for the Bucs before he was released in 2004, then added four Pro Bowl seasons and an AFC Championship Game appearance with the Broncos. A Hall finalist the past two years, Lynch has 1,277 career tackles, 100 passes defensed, 26 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, 13.0 sacks and eight fumble recoveries.

Also among the semifinalists are first-year eligibles LaDainian Tomlinson, Hines Ward, Jason Taylor and Brian Dawkins. So is placekicker Morten Andersen, the NFL's career scoring leader.

The 2017 class will be selected Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl. Between four and eight new members will be chosen.

Chief's father killed in airport shooting: The Chiefs are rallying around long snapper James Winchester, whose father, Michael, was killed by a former Southwest Airlines employee outside an Oklahoma City airport Tuesday. The gunman, Lloyd Dean Buie, was later found dead in his pickup truck. Coach Andy Reid said Winchester had returned to Oklahoma to be with his family. Reid was not certain whether Winchester would be back for Sunday's game against the Bucs. Punter Dustin Colquitt, who has spoken to Winchester since the shooting, said "He's in a good place right now. There's forgiveness in his breath. He's a great teammate, a great guy, and he'll be ready to roll. He just has to take care of business right now." … Linebacker Justin Houston could make his season debut against the Bucs. The four-time Pro Bowler, who had surgery to repair his left ACL in February, is "heading in that direction," coach Andy Reid said.

Cowboys: Dak Prescott told reporters that Tony Romo's speech conceding the starting job to the rookie quarterback was "more for y'all than for me or for this team." Prescott said nothing has changed for the team, on an eight-game winning streak with him starting as Romo recovered from another back injury. Romo is expected to back up Prescott against the Ravens on Sunday.

Packers: The team was awarded running back Christine Michael on waivers. He was released by the Seahawks on Tuesday despite being their leading rusher with 469 yards and six touchdowns.

Texans: Players were advised in a team memo to not leave the hotel and not order room service during their trip to Mexico City for Monday night's game against the Raiders, the Associated Press reported.

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