PITTSBURGH — When Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin demoted running back Rashard Mendenhall to third-string following a fumble in a loss to Cleveland last month, Tomlin stressed Mendenhall would have a chance to redeem himself.
Not this week.
The Steelers suspended the mercurial Mendenhall for their game Sunday at Dallas for conduct detrimental to the team. Pittsburgh promoted running back Baron Batch from the practice squad to take Mendenhall’s place.
The suspension is the latest in a series of setbacks for the 25-year-old Mendenhall. He emerged as Pittsburgh’s starter in 2009 and topped 1,000 yards in 2009 and 2010. He nearly reached the milestone again last winter but tore the ACL in his right knee in the regular- season finale against Cleveland.
Mendenhall returned Oct. 4 and had 101 total yards and a touchdown in a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He strained his right Achilles four days later against Tennessee and never regained a firm grip on the starting job.
Pats put WR Stallworth
on IR after 1 game
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have placed wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
The move on Tuesday ended his season after just one game, a 42-14 win over the Houston Texans on Monday night in which he scored on his only reception, a 63-yarder from Tom Brady. The Patriots, who had released Stallworth following training camp, re-signed him on Dec. 4 after wide receiver Julian Edelman went on injured reserve with a foot injury.
The Patriots did not give details of Stallworth’s injury and he did not mention it as he talked with reporters after the game. In his only full season in New England in 2007, he had 46 catches then played with the Cleveland Browns in 2008.
New England also released tight end Visanthe Shiancoe from the roster and offensive lineman Tommie Draheim from the practice squad.
Cowboys release Agnew,
replace him with Coe
IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have released cornerback Vince Agnew and replaced him by signing Michael Coe off waivers from Miami.
Coe appeared in seven games for the New York Giants before he was released Nov. 26. He played one game for the Dolphins before being released Monday.
A fifth-round pick by Indianapolis in 2007, Coe has 19 tackles and two fumble recoveries in 35 career games with the Colts, Giants and Dolphins.
Agnew was signed to the active roster Nov. 10 after joining the Dallas practice squad on Oct. 16.
The Cowboys juggled their practice squad by releasing cornerback Reggie Jones and tight end Chase Ford and adding cornerback Micah Pellerin.
The Chicago Bears signed linebacker Jerry Franklin off the Dallas practice squad.
Cowboys’ Brent attends
memorial with team
DALLAS — Jason Garrett gave the Dallas Cowboys a day off after his players somehow pulled off a win in Cincinnati while reeling from a one-car accident that killed one teammate and landed another in jail.
Many players showed up at team headquarters anyway and there was Josh Brent, the hulking defensive tackle who missed the trip after police say he was driving drunk and caused the wreck that killed practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown, his close friend and roommate.
And Brent was back with his teammates again Tuesday for a private memorial honoring Brown. Players and team officials left without talking to reporters after the hour-long service on a chilly afternoon at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, but Garrett had made it clear that Brent was still a part of the Cowboys family.
QB Vick, RB McCoy
back at practice
PHILADELPHIA — LeSean McCoy expects to step right into his starting role. Michael Vick has no choice but to stand on the sideline.
Vick and McCoy returned to practice Tuesday after missing several weeks with concussions, and both players could be active when the Philadelphia Eagles host Cincinnati on Thursday night.
In McCoy’s case, he’s still the No. 1 running back. Vick, however, lost his starting job to rookie quarterback Nick Foles.
Bills RB Jackson
sent to injured reserve
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills officially placed running back Fred Jackson on injured reserve Tuesday and promoted defensive tackle Jay Ross to the 53-man roster.
Jackson won’t require surgery after being diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain to his MCL this week, but with the Bills at 5-8 and looking toward next season, the move became an obvious one.
His injury leaves Buffalo with just two active running backs, C.J. Spiller and Tashard Choice.
Ross spent portions of the past two seasons on Buffalo’s practice squad. A three-year starter at East Carolina, the 6-3, 319-pound lineman entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with New Orleans in 2010.
Jets bring back WR
NEW YORK — Braylon Edwards is back with the New York Jets — a week after bashing them.
The veteran wide receiver was awarded to New York off waivers from Seattle on Tuesday as the Jets try to bolster their injured receiving corps with a familiar face. Edwards, waived by Seattle on Monday, developed a good rapport with Sanchez in helping New York to consecutive trips to the AFC title game in 2009 and 2010.
Edwards reiterated his feelings for Sanchez last week when he took to Twitter and criticized the Jets organization.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens rookie cornerback Asa Jackson has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
Jackson has played the past three weeks on special teams after being inactive for Baltimore’s first 10 games. He has one tackle.
Bears kicker Gould
to miss rest of season
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago kicker Robbie Gould will miss the rest of the season after injuring his left calf, another blow to the stumbling Bears with a big NFC North showdown coming up Sunday against the Packers.
The Bears placed Gould on injured reserve Tuesday and signed veteran kicker Olindo Mare to a one-year contract.