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NFL notebook

NFL notebook

Associated Press

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers benched quarterback Josh Freeman and replaced him with rookie Mike Glennon.

The move Wednesday came two days after coach Greg Schiano insisted Freeman remained the starter because he gave the team the best chance to win.

The coach changed his mind after meeting Tuesday with General Manager Mark Dominik and later discussed the switch with ownership.

“This is a performance-based decision,” Schiano said Wednesday. “We’re not getting the job done on the field.”

The winless Bucs have lost their first three games, two on field goals in the closing seconds. Freeman has completed 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

“There are a lot of reasons for it. It’s not just one guy,” Schiano said of Freeman, who is in the final year of the contract he signed as a rookie. “But’s that’s a critical piece of it. ... The quarterback touches the ball every play.”

Glennon was drafted in the third round out of North Carolina State, where he spent part of his college career as a backup to Russell Wilson. He will make his first pro start Sunday at home against Arizona.

Mercilus to appeal fine

Houston outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus says he’s been fined $15,000 for a hit on Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco. Mercilus, a former standout at Garfield High School, was fined for a play where his helmet hit the chin of Flacco. Mercilus, 23, was given a penalty for roughing the passer on the play.

Mercilus says he plans to appeal the fine. The second-year player has 13 tackles and a sack this season.

Pryor misses practice

Terrelle Pryor is not practicing for the Oakland Raiders two days after suffering a concussion late in a loss to the Denver Broncos. Backup Matt Flynn worked with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday as the Raiders (1-2) prepared to play the Washington Redskins (0-3) on Sunday.

Pryor, a former Ohio State star, isn’t able to practice or attend meetings until he is cleared by doctors. He got hurt running a draw play.

Around the league

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell will make his regular-season debut on Sunday. …Running back Reggie Bush of the Detroit Lions said he will play against the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears on Sunday, a week after missing a game with a banged-up knee. … Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake practiced on a limited basis despite a left knee injury and hopes to play Monday at New Orleans. … The New York Giants signed for Jets fullback John Conner. … The Arizona Cardinals placed rookie linebacker Alex Okafor on injured reserve with a torn bicep.

Oliver commits suicide

A medical examiner in Marietta, Ga., says former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver committed suicide. Cobb County investigators say Oliver, 29, was found dead Tuesday night at his home in Marietta from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


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