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Tampa Bay Buccaneers put cornerback Aqib Talib on injured reserve, ending his season

TAMPA — The Bucs have decided cornerback Aqib Talib isn't fit to finish the season.

Talib, with a hamstring injury that has slowed him in the second half of the season, was placed on injured reserve Monday for the final two games.

E.J. Biggers, normally the nickel back, becomes the starter at left cornerback.

Talib has been either unable to play or limited by the hamstring the past three games. He was inactive Dec. 11 at Jacksonville, and played half of the first quarter Saturday against the Cowboys before re-aggravating the injury.

Talib's spot on the active roster will be filled by defensive tackle Jovan Haye, a Buc from 2006-08. He started 45 games for them before playing the past two seasons for the Titans.

tebow time ratings: The matchup of Tim Tebow's Broncos and Tom Brady's Patriots gave CBS its second-best preliminary rating for a regular-season game since the network acquired the AFC package in 1998. The Patriots' 41-23 win led to a 19.5 overnight rating and 36 share for Sunday's NFL coverage. Overnight ratings measure the country's 56 largest markets. Only the Nov. 4, 2007, games highlighted by a meeting of two undefeated teams, the Patriots and Colts, had a higher rating, 22.5, and share, 39. The rating is the percentage of homes with TVs tuned to a program. The share is the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.

Bears: Receiver Johnny Knox will miss the rest of the season after back surgery. He was hurt in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks on a tackle after catching a pass and losing the ball. … Coach Lovie Smith was noncommittal about who would start at quarterback against the Packers on Sunday, when the Bears try to stop a four-game losing streak. Against Seattle, Caleb Hanie was brutal again filling in for injured Jay Cutler before getting replaced late by Josh McCown.

Browns: Concussed quarterback Colt McCoy has improved, but he has not been medically cleared to practice and no decision has been made on who will start Saturday against the Ravens, coach Pat Shurmur said. McCoy sustained a concussion Dec. 8 on a helmet-to-face mask hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was suspended for one game. Seneca Wallace started Sunday at Arizona and passed for 226 yards and a touchdown in a 20-17 overtime loss.

Falcons: Coach Mike Smith said his heart is fine and his doctors have a plan to address what caused him to be hospitalized after a win over the Panthers on Dec. 11. Smith did not provide details of his problem.

jets: Quarterback Mark Sanchez said he was "feeling good" and did not need followup tests after injuring his neck against the Eagles on Sunday. … Joe McKnight, who leads the NFL in kickoff return average, separated his right shoulder Sunday, and his status for Saturday against the Giants was uncertain.

Packers: Tackle Bryan Bulaga may be unable to play against the Bears on Sunday because of a sprained left knee, and backup offensive lineman Derek Sherrod is recovering from surgery on his broken right leg, sustained Sunday in the loss to the Chiefs, Green Bay's first of the season.

Vikings: Running back Adrian Peterson said the Saints were purposely trying to injure his sprained left ankle Sunday. He said he took particular offense to a play in which cornerback Jabari Greer twisted the ankle in a pileup. Peterson said he confronted Greer because he thought that "it kind of got overboard." … Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said "a very small handful of guys" didn't give enough effort during the 42-20 loss to the Saints. He didn't name names. He said he would talk to those players.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers put cornerback Aqib Talib on injured reserve, ending his season 12/19/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 12:00am]

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