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  1. Sports

Second ban over, Denver standout set to play finally

DENVER — Linebacker D.J. Williams is on track to make his season debut today against the Chargers after the Broncos put him on their 53-man roster Saturday.

Williams, who totaled 11½ sacks in 2010 and 2011, returned to practice last week after serving two league suspensions that cost him nine games and about $4 million. Coach John Fox said Friday that Williams looked good in practice all week "and he's a guy we would definitely consider to be active for the game."

If Williams plays today, it likely will be as a reserve and on special teams.

The former University of Miami standout was suspended six games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and three games for an alcohol-related arrest.

Bucs move: The Bucs signed defensive lineman Matthew Masifilo off the 49ers' practice squad. The undrafted rookie, who likely won't be in uniform today, played end and tackle at Stanford. To make room, the Bucs released former Florida State defensive end Markus White, who was promoted from the practice squad Wednesday.

49ers: Quarterback Alex Smith, who sustained a concussion last week against the Rams, practiced. As he has all week, he wore a noncontact jersey. His status for Monday hasn't been announced.

Lions: Starting safety Amari Spievey went on season-ending injured reserve four weeks after sustaining his second concussion in 10 months.

Patriots: Receiver Deion Branch was released. The veteran was released during the preseason and re-signed just prior to Week 3. But he has just nine catches in seven games (three starts) and sustained a hamstring injury during practice last week.