PITTSBURGH (AP) Ben Roethlisberger gingerly made his way out of the Pittsburgh Steelers facility, his left leg immobilized under a brace and his attitude upbeat.
The leader of one of the NFL's most dynamic offenses is expected back at some point in 2015 after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the third quarter of Sunday's 12-6 win over St Louis.
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What the rest of the season looks like whenever Roethlisberger returns will rely heavily on how much is left in Michael Vick's 35-year-old arm (and legs).
Coach Mike Tomlin thinks Vick has plenty left.
Vick will start for the Steelers (2-1) on Thursday night when they host Baltimore (0-3), a job Vick will hold indefinitely while Roethlisberger is out. Tomlin declined to put a timetable on when Roethlisberger will take the field next other than to say it will be ''a number of weeks.''
Roethlisberger fell awkwardly while getting tackled by St. Louis safety Mark Barron, the quarterback's left leg twisting gruesomely as he fell to the turf. An MRI revealed no major structural damage though Roethlisberger will miss multiple starts due to injury for only the second time in his 12-year career.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The NFL vice president of officiating says that referee Ed Hochuli insists he never told Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton that he ''wasn't old enough'' to get a personal foul call during Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
''Ed was adamant that he did not say that,'' Dean Blandino told the NFL Network. ''He told me that he said (to Newton) that `the difference is you were running.' I think when you look at the tape it does look like Ed did say (the difference is you were running). I think that's where we are right now and we're just going to kind of move on from there.''
Newton called out the veteran referee after Carolina's 27-22 win after he felt a personal foul should have been called on Saints defensive tackle Tyeler Davison for hitting him out of bounds after he released a pass.
TV replays show Newton having a brief conversation with Hochuli after the play, and the quarterback reacted at one point with surprise, stopping in his tracks before breaking into a wide, disbelieving smile.
''The response that I got was, `Cam, you're not old enough to get that call,''' Newton said at his postgame press conference Sunday. ''I was looking at him like, `I didn't think that you had to have seniority to get a personal foul or anything like that.' ... Heaven forbid he gets any rookies. They are going to have a long day man.''
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Panthers say they've acquired veteran defensive end Jared Allen from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a future late-round draft pick.
The trade will become official once Allen passes a physical, team spokesman Steven Drummond told The Associated Press.
FoxSports first reported the trade.
The Panthers felt the move was necessary after their top pass rusher Charles Johnson went down with a hamstring injury in Sunday's 27-22 win over the New Orleans Saints.
The Panthers lost their other top pass rusher Greg Hardy this past offseason when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon will miss the rest of the season after his dugout fight with teammate Bryce Harper - four games because of a team suspension for that episode and three games because he dropped his appeal of a Major League Baseball ban for throwing at an opponent's head last week.
Nationals manager Matt Williams said Harper, a leading NL MVP contender, was held out of the starting lineup for Monday's home finale against Cincinnati for ''his part in the altercation'' with Papelbon on Sunday.
Harper, though, said after Sunday's game that he was scheduled to be off Monday.
''It's been a very difficult 24 hours for the organization,'' Williams said at his pregame news conference, which started 1 1/2 hours later than scheduled. ''Incidents like that in the dugout (are) not the way we want to play our games.''
On Sunday, after Harper flied out in the eighth inning against Philadelphia, he headed to the dugout, where he and Papelbon exchanged words. The argument escalated, and Papelbon reached out with his left hand and grabbed Harper by the throat.
Papelbon then shoved the outfielder toward the bench with both hands, before teammates and members of Williams' coaching staff pulled the pair apart.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - St. Louis Cardinals rookie Stephen Piscotty was carted off the field following a violent collision with teammate Peter Bourjos.
In a frightening scene at PNC Park, Piscotty lay motionless on the grass in left-center field for several minutes. He was strapped to a backboard and waved his left hand as he was driven away, eliciting a big cheer from the Pittsburgh crowd.
Piscotty has a bruise on his head and all tests conducted were negative, the Cardinals said. He will be held overnight at a hospital for observation.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Josh Harrison of the Pirates hit a drive to the gap in left-center. Piscotty, playing left field, stumbled as he chased the ball. Bourjos, playing center, went to the ground as he made a lunging catch, and his left knee struck Piscotty square in the face.
Almost immediately, Bourjos began waving to signal that Piscotty needed medical attention. Cardinals players and manager Mike Matheny gathered in the outfield, some kneeling in obvious concern as workers tended to Piscotty and a hush fell over the crowd.
SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Mariners have found their new general manager, hiring former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto.
Seattle announced Dipoto's hiring. He replaces Jack Zduriencik, who was fired in late August after seven disappointing seasons during which the club failed to end its playoff drought. With the Toronto Blue Jays making the postseason this year, the Mariners now have the longest playoff absence in baseball at 14 years and counting.
Dipoto's job will be to end that playoff drought and continue rebuilding a farm system that had highs and lows during Zduriencik's tenure. Dipoto was the Angels' general manager for 3 1/2 years before resigning on July 1 following clashes with manager Mike Scioscia that began the first year they worked together.
Las Vegas and Quebec City are moving closer in their bids to land an NHL franchise.
A Bill Foley-led group and Montreal-based communications giant Quebecor are in the third and final stage of a process to potentially bring the world's top hockey league to Las Vegas and Quebec City, respectively.
''They have been invited to make presentations to the Executive Committee on Tuesday,'' NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email.
Later in the day, the committee will report to the NHL Board of Governors.
''Evaluation process will continue,'' Daly wrote. ''No defined timeline.''
Quebecor spokesman Martin Tremblay and Michelle Kersch, spokeswoman for Foley's group, confirmed their groups will make a presentation.
It is expected to take at least two years before the NHL would potentially have 32 teams playing.
ZURICH (AP) - Sepp Blatter told his staff he has done ''nothing illegal or improper'' and has no immediate plans to step down, the FIFA president's legal team.
Blatter was back at FIFA headquarters three days after being interrogated by Swiss investigators at the scandal-battered governing body's headquarters.
Blatter is expected to hand over power in February when an emergency election is held, triggered by the president's resignation statement four days after being re-elected for a fifth, four-year term in May.
But the 79-year-old Blatter does not appear to be planning any sudden exit despite being the subject of a criminal investigation over his management of world soccer.
''President Blatter spoke to FIFA staff today and informed the staff that he was cooperating with the authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal or improper and stated that he would remain as president of FIFA,'' Blatter's attorney, Richard Cullen, said in a statement.
Blatter was questioned by Swiss investigators on Friday about why FIFA paid 2 million Swiss francs (about $2 million) to UEFA President Michel Platini in 2011 for work supposedly carried out at least nine years earlier. Blatter denied wrongdoing and Platini, who is also a FIFA vice president, was only questioned as a witness.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An extreme sports star skydiving for the opening ceremony of a golf event in Northern California died when he struck a tree, authorities said.
Placer County Sheriff's Capt. Dennis Walsh said Erik Roner, of Tahoe City, died during a skydiving accident at a golf course in Squaw Valley, about 5 miles from Lake Tahoe's northwest shore.
Witnesses told deputies Roner, 39, was part of a group conducting a skydiving performance before a golf tournament when he hit a tree while trying to land and became entangled high above ground, Walsh said.
Authorities were not able to remove him from the tree, and Roner was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other skydivers landed safely on the golf course in Squaw Valley, home of the ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.