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Rodgers practices with intent to start

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Quarterback Aaron Rodgers returned to practice for the Packers on Wednesday. And with the playoffs still in sight, he's expected to start Sunday against the Giants.

And while Rodgers acknowledges he'll be careful about taking direct hits, he said coming back from his second concussion of the season won't fundamentally change the way he plays.

"I have zero doubts taking the field," said Rodgers whose team is virtually certain to make the playoffs if it wins its last two games. "I feel confident. I've been cleared. The doctors are confident. I'm going to continue to play the way I play."

Rodgers, who sat out last week's loss at New England, did wear a new helmet at practice. He and coach Mike McCarthy declined to offer specifics on it.

Ochocinco, coach exchange swipes

CINCINNATI — Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco has been limited at practice by bone spurs in his left ankle and likely will have a reduced role in the final two games. The situation has rankled coach Marvin Lewis.

"He's being his mopey self," he said. "Hopefully, he can pull himself out of it and move forward. When things don't go Chad's way, this is kind of what happens."

Ochocinco fired back on Twitter: "This is how they treat you when you hurt, the things you don't get to see as fans." Soon after, another post: "Did anyone get the license plate to the bus I was just threw under"?

Moss looks ahead: Despite not being thrown to during the past two games and being downgraded to backup, receiver Randy Moss said he wouldn't mind staying with the Titans, his third team this season. He can be a free agent after the season. "I just want to give the league and the fans something to remember me by. And hopefully, if it's not here in Tennessee it'll be somewhere else," said Moss, traded by the Patriots and waived by the Vikings this year. "I wouldn't mind staying here in Tennessee."

Tebow to start: Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton said he has been told ex-Gator Tim Tebow will start the final two games. Sunday, his first start, Tebow ran for 78 yards and a touchdown and threw for 138 and a touchdown. Orton said he was unhappy. "I said I'd like to finish the season," Orton said. "That wasn't the option that was presented."

More Broncos: Running back Knowshon Moreno missed practice with sore ribs. His status hasn't been determined.

Browns: Quarterback Colt McCoy missed practice because of illness but is expected to return today. Running back Peyton Hillis sat with a knee injury. His status was not disclosed.

Chargers: Tight end Antonio Gates likely will sit out the final two games to rest the tear in his right plantar fascia in case the team makes the playoffs. He has missed the past two games and four of six.

Colts: Receiver Austin Collie went on injured reserve three days after sustaining his second concussion of the season.

Jets: Quarterback Mark Sanchez said he will be ready despite being limited at practice by a sore right shoulder. He said he "fell funny" early Sunday, but an MRI exam revealed no damage. Receiver Santonio Holmes sat with turf toe but also is expected to play.

Lions: Quarterback Shaun Hill, who has missed three games with a broken right index finger, took snaps with the first-string offense and is expected to start Sunday.

Patriots: Quarterback Tom Brady missed practice because of the flu. Offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who on Sunday returned a kickoff 71 yards, sat with a concussion. His status has not been determined.

Rams: End Chris Long, whose 71/2 sacks are second on the team, did not practice because of a bruised thigh but expects to play.

Ravens: Linebacker Sergio Kindle, a second-round pick in April, might miss a second season because of a fractured skull sustained when he fell down two flights of stairs in July. He said he doesn't have headaches or other symptoms from a head injury, but doctors are worried about him taking hits. There is no timetable to determine his status.

Pro Bowl: Brady overtook Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to finish first in fan voting. He earned about 1.9 million votes, about 400,000 more than Vick. Fans account for one-third of the process. Players and coaches vote this week. The 43-man rosters will be announced Tuesday.

Rodgers practices with intent to start 12/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 6:10pm]
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