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49ers ready to sign Haley

Desperate to bolster their pass rush, the San Francisco 49ers plan to bring Charles Haley, 34, out of retirement and play him in Sunday's wild-card game against the Green Bay Packers.

Haley, a linebacker-defensive end who retired in 1996 after 11 season, was en route Friday to 49ers headquarters and was scheduled to work out for the team today. Provided he works out well and passes a physical, he'll be signed and put to work in time for the playoffs, the Associated Press reported.

RB Garrison Hearst practiced for the first time since pulling his right hamstring Sunday. "He practiced about half the practice, but limited," coach Steve Mariucci said. "He's still improving."

Mariucci said he won't determine how much Hearst will play until after pregame workouts.

AFC

BILLS AT DOLPHINS: Miami averted the first local playoff blackout in five years when station WPLG-TV agreed to purchase any unsold tickets for today's game. About 2,400 tickets remained.

JAGUARS: QB Mark Brunell will start Sunday in the wild-card game against the Patriots, Brunell said. Brunell took all of the snaps in practice Friday and said all went well, although he's still feeling the effects of his sprained ankle and will take a precautionary injection before the game.

JETS: CB Aaron Glenn, who missed the last three games with a sprained ankle, is practicing at an increased tempo. "It looks like he has a real shot (to play), unless he has a setback," coach Bill Parcells said. FB Keith Byars, who did not play the last three games, had the cast removed from his broken forearm.

PATRIOTS: A story about the possible ouster of coach Pete Carroll appears to be true, as several players spoke this week about a lack of organization, game plans that don't exploit the players' talents against other teams' weaknesses and the failure of younger players to fill in for injured players.

NFC

COWBOYS: CB Deion Sanders told the training staff that his injured toe still was sore. The development came after Sanders worked out Thursday for the first time in two weeks. His toe will continue to be treated, and a decision on whether he will be active for today's game will be made when he arrives at Texas Stadium.

VIKINGS: DT John Randle has more important things on his mind than a possible Super Bowl matchup with the Broncos. "I really didn't follow Denver too much," Randle said. "I was more concerned with The Young and the Restless. I've been watching that weekly. You've got Victor Newman and finding out what is going to happen to him. Victor's got some problems. He's staying with his ex-wife. His daughter just lost a baby. I don't want to go into full detail, but that's more of my concern than Denver right now."

_ TIMES WIRES

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