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NFL notebook — Dec. 15

Associated Press

Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson could have flown home — and no one would have blamed him.

Johnson’s mother died unexpectedly Saturday at her Northern California home. Rhonda Lewis was 48.

Johnson and the Bills had already arrived in Jacksonville when he heard the devastating news. He sat down with coach Doug Marrone, who gave him the option of leaving or staying for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.

Johnson decided to stay with his teammates, and he opted not to tell any of them.

Johnson finished with one catch for 4 yards in Buffalo’s 27-20 victory.

But he garnered praise from Marrone and his teammates for how he handled a difficult situation.

PETERSON SIDELINED Adrian Peterson was held out of Minnesota’s game against Philadelphia on Sunday because of a sprained right foot, and backup Toby Gerhart was on the inactive list, too, with a hamstring injury.

Peterson was hurt last week at Baltimore, and he expressed his usual determination about being able to play. He returned to practice Friday, and the Vikings were optimistic about his quick recovery. But because they’re out of playoff contention, they decided not to risk the health of the 2012 NFL MVP.

With Gerhart out, that left Matt Asiata, who had three career regular-season carries coming into the game, as the featured back.

CRUZ INJURED — New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz left Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a concussion and a sprained knee.

Cruz was injured trying to catch a third-and-8 pass from Eli Manning late in the third quarter.

ROOKIE DEACTIVATED — The Tennessee Titans deactivated rookie wide receiver Justin Hunter against the Arizona Cardinals for what a team spokesman called a violation of team rules.

Hunter, a second-round draft pick out of Tennessee, is coming off the best game of his career with 114 yards receiving in last week’s loss at Denver.



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