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NFL: Week 8

Broncos stay with Tebow - for now

In 2 ½ games since becoming the No. 1 quarterback in Denver, Tim Tebow is completing just 46 percent of his passes and has been sacked 13 times. In 2 ½ games since becoming the No. 1 quarterback in Denver, Tim Tebow is completing just 46 percent of his passes and has been sacked 13 times. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Associated Press / November 1, 2011

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Tim Tebow wasn’t sacked yesterday.

One day after giving his embattled young quarterback a less than ringing endorsement following a humiliating 45-10 home loss to the Lions - in which Tebow was sacked seven times and had his two turnovers turned into 14 points - Broncos coach John Fox said he’s sticking with Tebow.

“For this week, yes,’’ Fox said.

By not committing to him beyond Sunday’s game at Oakland, Fox made it clear that Tebow has to quickly improve as a pocket passer to retain his starting status.

“I think at the end of the day, we’ve got to see if he can improve and get better in the passing game,’’ Fox said.

Since supplanting Kyle Orton at halftime against San Diego on Oct. 9, Tebow has completed 46 percent of his passes (35 for 76) and been sacked 13 times.

“I think we definitely need to improve. I think we will,’’ Tebow said. “Just the timing and getting in and out of the right plays and being more consistent. Every day I’m just coming in here and trying to get better and improving and whatever they ask I’m going to do.’’

Tebow said he doesn’t feel as though he’s on a week-to-week basis, but he’s not one to fret about the future anyway.

“It’s just take it one day at a time, consistently trying to get better and not focusing too far in the future,’’ he said.

Giants dealing with injuries

The Giants may be without their leading receiver for Sunday’s visit to Gillette Stadium. Hakeem Nicks tweaked a hamstring on New York’s next-to-last series in a win over Miami and his status for the Patriots game is uncertain. Coach Tom Coughlin described Nicks’s injury as day-to-day.

If Nicks can’t go, Victor Cruz probably would move into the starting lineup. Cruz, a second-year pro out of UMass, caught the winning touchdown pass Sunday. The Giants also could get back third-year receiver Ramses Barden, who has been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp with an ankle injury. He started practicing last week.

Center David Bass (right knee) is also day-to-day. Cornerback Justin Tryon is likely out for the season with a broken right arm.

Houshmandzadeh a Raider?

The Raiders are hoping to reunite receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh with quarterback Carson Palmer and his former position coach in Cincinnati, Hue Jackson, now the Raiders head coach.

Houshmandzadeh has remained a free agent all season and had been working out with Palmer in Southern California before the Raiders traded for the QB two weeks ago. Houshmandzadeh will work out for Oakland today.

Jackson said the decision to look at Houshmandzadeh had been in the works for a while. “What I need to do is find out what he is,’’ Jackson said.

The Raiders also signed former Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard on their first day back from the bye week. Sheppard spent time in Oakland’s training camp and played in the final exhibition game before being cut. He had not caught on with any other team.

Manning to remain active

Colts vice chairman Bill Polian plans to keep Peyton Manning on the active roster all season - even if it means the four-time NFL MVP will only be back to practice. Polian is hoping Manning will be able to throw at the team’s complex before the season ends.

“I think it’s important for him to feel like, ‘Hey I’m back, I can do the things that are necessary to say I can play like I want to,’ ’’ Polian said.

It’s unlikely the Colts (0-8) would play Manning in meaningless December games. “I’m not sure we would necessarily play him in ballgames with our offensive line as beaten up as it is right now,’’ Polian said.

Bradford better; Kolb ailing

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is no longer wearing a protective boot on his left foot. He sustained a high ankle sprain two weeks ago in a loss at Green Bay and has missed two games, including St. Louis’s stunning upset of New Orleans Sunday, the Rams’ first win. “He’s moving around a little bit,’’ said coach Steve Spagnuolo. “I don’t know that we’ll get him on Wednesday [for practice], but we’ll slowly work him in there. He’ll be day-to-day.’’ . . . Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb had his right foot in a walking boot to protect a turf toe injury and said he had “no idea’’ whether he would be able to play Sunday against St. Louis. Kolb was injured early against Baltimore, a game in which he was sacked a season-high six times. If Kolb can’t go, second-year pro John Skelton likely would get the start.

Titans standing pat

Titans coach Mike Munchak made it clear that Chris Johnson remains the starting running back despite Tennessee having the NFL’s worst rushing offense. Munchak said he sees Johnson, who’s averaging a career-worst 2.8 yards per carry, working harder than ever since signing a lucrative contract extension following a long holdout. Both Johnson and backup Javon Ringer had 14 carries in the Titans’ win over the Colts Sunday. Ringer gained 60 yards, Johnson just 34 . . . Browns running back Montario Hardesty is out indefinitely after tearing a calf muscle in Sunday’s loss at San Francisco. Coach Pat Shurmur said Hardesty is wearing a protective boot. The second-year back was starting because Peyton Hillis missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Shurmur said the Browns will work out running backs today . . . The Bengals received a two-day roster exemption for running back Cedric Benson, who is coming off a suspension for violating the NFL’s conduct policy. Benson is allowed to be with the team until tomorrow without being added to the 53-man roster.

Texans’ Johnson near return

Texans star wide receiver Andre Johnson could be cleared to play after missing four games with a right hamstring injury. Coach Gary Kubiak said he’ll wait to see how Johnson practices this week before clearing him to play against Cleveland. However, Texans linebacker Darryl Sharpton will have season-ending surgery after tearing a tendon in his right quadriceps . . . A person familiar with the status of Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said tests showed no damage to the rookie’s neck, and he might be able to return to practice this week. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Miami hadn’t commented on the test results. Pouncey left Sunday’s game against the Giants with a neck injury after taking a blow to the head. He said that he briefly couldn’t feel his legs, but that he felt fine after the game . . . The Redskins claimed running back Tashard Choice off waivers from Dallas and released cornerback Brandyn Thompson.

Suh meeting today

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is scheduled to meet with NFL officials today in New York at his request to talk about rules Suh has broken. Suh said after Detroit’s win Sunday that the meeting will be an opportunity to have good dialogue . . . The Ravens’ comeback victory over Arizona Sunday marked the fifth time this season a team has rallied from 20 or more points down to win, a league record.

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