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49ERS GIVE NOLAN AX IN FOURTH YEAR

The San Francisco 49ers fired coach Mike Nolan on Monday, seven games into his fourth consecutive dismal season with the club, according to FOXsports.com.

Assistant head coach Mike Singletary is expected to take over the 49ers, who started 2-1 before a four-game skid culminating in Sunday's 29-17 loss to the Giants.

Instead of delaying the decision until the 49ers' bye week after Sunday's home game against Seattle, owner John York got rid of his choice to revive the franchise, which has endured five consecutive losing seasons.

Nolan, 49, who hadn't been fired when he conducted his Monday news conference, told FOXsports.com of his dismissal. He didn't immediately return a phone call from the Associated Press, and several team executives and coaches didn't return phone messages and e-mails.

The 49ers hired the veteran defensive coordinator to run every aspect of the club in January 2005. Nolan ceded some power to general manager Scot McCloughan in January after the 49ers finished 5-11.

JAGS' JONES SUSPENDED:Jaguars receiver Matt Jones was suspended three games for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, ESPN.com reported.Jones was notified by letter Monday. The league declined comment as such issues are never announced until the end of appeals process, if it occurs. Jones has been accepted into a drug treatment program that could erase a felony cocaine charge.

Jones IN TREATMENT: Suspended Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones has entered an alcohol treatment center. The oft-troubled player has checked into a facility "in another part of the country," owner Jerry Jones said. "It's totally done through and by the NFL," Jerry Jones said.

BENGALS: Rookie linebacker Keith Rivers was scheduled for surgery to set his broken jaw, an injury that will end his season. He was hurt on a hit from Steelers receiver Hines Ward.

BROWNS: Romeo Crennel confirmed tight end Kellen Winslow was treated for a staph infection while hospitalized this month. But the coach did not condone Winslow's post-game outburst after Sunday's game, when Winslow complained about how he has been treated by general manager Phil Savage and said he felt like "a piece of meat."

CARDINALS: Receiver Anquan Boldin practiced for the first time since being injured on a hit by the Jets' Eric Smith. Boldin, a former FSU standout, had surgery to repair a sinus fracture and has not been cleared to play.

CHIEFS: With Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard out, the team is looking around for help behind center. "We might bring some (quarterbacks) in," coach Herm Edwards said. "We're still putting together the list."

PATRIOTS: Running back Laurence Maroney (shoulder) went on injured reserve.

RAMS: Running back Steven Jackson has a slightly strained quadriceps and is expected to play Sunday at New England.

OBITUARY: Gene Hickerson, the Browns' Hall of Fame right guard whose blocking helped Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly and Bobby Mitchell make the shrine, died after a long illness. He was 73. Mr. Hickerson was voted to six straight Pro Bowls (1965-70) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

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