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NFL suspends 49ers LB Smith for 9 games

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers have been preparing for months to play on without Aldon Smith over an extended period.

Now they know the exact timeframe: He is suspended for more than half the season.

The star linebacker received his nine-game penalty from the league Friday stemming from a series of off-field legal issues.

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Vikings WR Simpson suspended 3 games

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been suspended for three games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, his second such punishment in three seasons.

The league announced the punishment Friday, putting Simpson on the sideline without pay until Sept. 22 when the Vikings begin practice for a Week 4 matchup with Atlanta.

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Bengals release RB Green-Ellis

CINCINNATI (AP) The Bengals released running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis on Friday, a move that was anticipated after they drafted LSU's Jeremy Hill in the second round.

Green-Ellis was Cincinnati's leading rusher each of the last two seasons. His role was reduced last year when Giovani Bernard was added to the backfield. Green-Ellis ran for 756 yards and a career-low 3.4 yards per carry. He was entering the final year on his contract.

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Jets CB Milliner still iffy for opener

NEW YORK (AP) Dee Milliner's status for the New York Jets' regular-season opener is still unclear.

The second-year cornerback suffered a high left ankle sprain during training camp on Aug. 10 and hasn't practiced since. Coach Rex Ryan said it's "still too early to tell" whether the injury will be healed for the game against the Oakland Raiders next Sunday.

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Cowboys rookie Dixon fined for Hazel hit

IRVING, Texas (AP) Rookie Dallas safety Ahmad Dixon has been fined $22,050 for a hit on Miami receiver Matt Hazel in a preseason game last week.

Dixon was penalized for unnecessary roughness for hitting Hazel after the ball had sailed past him near the goal line in the Dolphins' 25-20 win last Saturday. He was fined for hitting a defenseless player in the head and neck area.

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Raiders likely to name QB on Monday

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Coach Dennis Allen says he expects to know who will start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders when the team returns to practice Monday.

A sore elbow for Matt Schaub and a strong finish to the preseason by rookie Derek Carr have injected some doubt into what had seemed to be a resolved issue as recently as four days ago.

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Change of plea hearing set for Irsay

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) A change of plea hearing has been set for Tuesday for Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who faces drug-related charges following a March traffic stop.

Hamilton County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andre Miksha said Friday that a not guilty plea had previously been entered on behalf of the 55-year-old Colts owner.

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LB Harrison, Cards can't agree on deal

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Outside linebacker James Harrison met with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday but won't sign with the team because the two sides couldn't agree on a contract.

Harrison's agent, William Parise, said Harrison had a physical and met with coach Bruce Arians but the prospective deal broke down over money.

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Steelers WR Bryant has sprained shoulder

PITTSBURGH (AP) One of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's pet phrases is: "Your tape is your resume."

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is hoping he won't have to polish his up when rosters are trimmed to 53 players on Saturday.

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Bears waive Heisman finalist QB Lynch

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears have waived former Northern Illinois star quarterback Jordan Lynch.

A Heisman Trophy finalist for the Huskies last season, Lynch was trying to make the Bears as a running back after being signed as an undrafted free agent. He could still wind up on their practice squad if he's not picked up by another team.

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