NFL will ask players to donate brains for study

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The NFL will start working with Boston University brain researchers who have been critical of the league's stance on concussions.

The league plans to encourage current and former NFL players to donate their brains to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which has said it found links between repeated head trauma and brain damage in boxers, football players and, most recently, a former NHL player.

"It's huge that the NFL actively gets behind this research," said Robert Cantu , a co-director of the center who has spoken negatively about the league in the past.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league also is committed to giving $1 million or more to the center.

Cantu noted that three current NFL players -- Cardinals wide receiver Sean Morey , Ravens center Matt Birk , and Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu -- have agreed to donate their brains for research after death.

BEARS: General manager Jerry Angelo said the fate of coach Lovie Smith has not been decided.

Before Sunday's game against the Ravens, Angelo shot down a report from Comcast SportsNet/Chicago on Friday that cited unnamed sources saying Smith would return for the next to last year of his contract in 2010.

BROWNS: Joshua Cribbs and Jerome Harrison set records in Cleveland's 41-34 win over Kansas City.

Cribbs returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, breaking the NFL career record with seven and tying the single-game mark.

Harrison rushed for a team-record 286 yards, breaking Jim Brown 's mark of 237 yards, set in 1957 and 1961.

EAGLES: Quarterback Michael Vick was forced out of Sunday's win over San Francisco with a bruised thigh. He was hobbling around the locker room after the game, and his status is uncertain for next week.

DOLPHINS: Running back Ricky Williams reached 1,000 yards rushing for the season on his fifth carry against Tennessee, setting an NFL record for the longest span between 1,000-yard seasons at six years.

His last 1,000-yard season came in 2003. He finished Sunday's game with 80 yards on 19 carries, giving him 1,055 yards rushing this season.

CHIEFS: Running back Dantrell Savage was placed on injured reserve and wide receiver Quinten Lawrence was released to make room for Dwayne Bowe 's return.


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