SMITH LIKELY TO RETIRE AFTER SUNDAY’S GAME
owings mills, md.» Steve Smith talks like a man ready to play his final game, though the Baltimore Ravens receiver has not completely closed the door on returning for a 17th NFL season.
The 37-year-old Smith will play in his 219th regular-season game Sunday at Cincinnati. He strongly indicated Wednesday that it will mark the end of a record-breaking career.
He said he’s “trying to get to Sunday without crying like a little kid.”
But Smith didn’t formally announce his retirement. Regarding the season finale Sunday, he said, “For 2016-17 and beyond, it’s probably my last game.”
Bills switch QBs.
Aside from having an interim head coach in Anthony Lynn, the Buffalo Bills also have an interim starting quarterback: EJ Manuel.
Without going into detail, Lynn called it “a business decision” to start Manuel in place of Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo’s season finale against the New York Jets on Sunday. Both teams are eliminated from playoff contention.
Green out Sunday.
Receiver A.J. Green won’t play in the Bengals’ final game on Sunday against Baltimore, leaving him shy of an NFL record.
He finishes 36 yards shy of joining Randy Moss as the only NFL players to top 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first six seasons.
Green severely strained his right hamstring in a loss to Buffalo on Nov. 20.
Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances and said he’s entering a treatment facility rather than appeal the ban.
China to air Super Bowl.
NFL games are being streamed live in China, and will be through the Super Bowl.
The league announced a partnership with Sina Weibo, one of the largest social media platforms in China.
Six regular-season games were streamed, and Sina Weibo will stream the Packers-Lions showdown for the NFC North title on Sunday night. It also will stream three playoff games and the Super Bowl.
Coach Ron Rivera says he will not play three-time All-Pro middle linebacker Luke Kuechly in the team’s season finale against the Buccaneers.