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Browns QB Mayfield out against Broncos

(AP Photo/David Richard)

CLEVELAND (AP) Baker Mayfield had to surrender to the pain.

Cleveland's starting quarterback, who has played the past four weeks with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, will sit out Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos and backup Case Keenum will start.

"I feel very ready. I've been ready," said Keenum, who hasn't started since 2019 with Washington. "You can say, `You don't have to get ready if you stay ready' and I've been ready since I got here."

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49ers believe Garoppolo will face Colts

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers are optimistic starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can return this week from a right calf injury but don't expect backup Trey Lance back for another week.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo would be limited at practice Wednesday after missing one game with the injury and is on target to play Sunday night against Indianapolis.

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Bridgewater questionable for Thursday

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has a quadriceps injury in addition to his sore left foot and is questionable for the game at Cleveland on Thursday night.

On Wednesday, the Browns (3-3) announced their starting QB, Baker Mayfield, would sit out because of a painful left shoulder injury and that backup Case Keenum will start against Denver.

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Texans release veteran DE Mercilus

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans have released veteran defensive end Whitney Mercilus.

He was the 26th overall pick in the 2012 draft and spent his entire career with the Texans. Mercilus was one of the longest- tenured players on the team after most of the team's stars have been traded or released in recent years.

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Stafford happy in LA, won't slam Lions

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) While winning mostly eluded Matthew Stafford during his 12 seasons with Lions, the quarterback still has positive feelings about his time in Detroit, even after his career was rejuvenated by a trade to the Los Angeles Rams.

Going into his first game against the franchise that drafted him first overall in 2009, Stafford doesn't want to jeopardize those good feelings. He rejected the suggestion that his early success with the Rams means he did not receive adequate support from the Lions.

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Jets top tackler Mosley iffy vs. Pats

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) C.J. Mosley is taking no chances with his injured hamstring.

The New York Jets linebacker could be sidelined for the team's game Sunday at New England after he said Wednesday he was hurt on the second-to-last play of New York's 27-20 loss to Atlanta in London on Oct. 10.

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Eagles RT Johnson returns to practice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Three-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson returned to practice with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday after missing the last three games because of a personal matter that he revealed was related to anxiety and depression.

"Depression and anxiety are things I've dealt with for a long time and have kept hidden from my friends and family. If you're reading this and struggling, please know that you are not alone," Johnson wrote on Twitter on Monday.

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Washington releases longtime K Hopkins

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Washington released longtime kicker Dustin Hopkins on Wednesday and signed Chris Blewitt as his replacement.

Hopkins was in his seventh season with the team but seemed on the hot seat with coach Ron Rivera for several weeks. He missed a 42-yard field goal attempt in a loss last weekend to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Ridley, rested Falcons return from bye

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Matt Ryan is looking to see more growth from the offense when the Atlanta Falcons, refreshed after their bye week, play Sunday at Miami.

Top wide receiver Calvin Ridley's return should help.

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NFL starts responsible betting campaign

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) The NFL is spending $6.2 million to help expand programs to prevent or treat problem gambling across the country.

The league is launching a responsible betting initiative aimed at getting fans to set limits on their wagers, understand the risks of betting and know where to get help if things get out of hand. It is partnering with the National Council on Problem Gambling to improve the group's nationwide help line, create new treatment programs and expand existing ones, and educate football fans who gamble on how to do so responsibly.

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