First-time candidates John Lynch, Michael Strahan and Jonathan Ogden were among 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2013 class announced Friday.
Joining Lynch, Strahan and Ogden among first-year eligible players are Morten Andersen, Larry Allen and Warren Sapp.
Lynch was a star safety for Tampa Bay and Denver over 15 seasons. Strahan had a league-record 22½ sacks for the Giants in 2001 when he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Ogden was a fixture at left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens from 1996-2007. Andersen retired in 2007 as the NFL’s career scoring leader with 2,544 points. Allen was a Pro Bowler in 11 of his 14 seasons (12 with Dallas, two with San Francisco), playing both tackle and guard.
Sapp was Defensive Player of the Year in 1999.
Also among those making the cut to 27 are former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter and Charles Haley. Senior committee nominees Curley Culp and Dave Robinson automatically make the semifinals and don’t count in the 27. The field will be reduced to 15 modern era finalists and the two senior nominees in early January.
Big Ben to watch again
For the third consecutive game, the Steelers will be without their star quarterback. At least it appears as if they’ll have the quarterback of their defense and the reigning team MVP back on the field.
Ben Roethlisberger will not play Sunday in Baltimore, meaning Charlie Batch will make his second consecutive start at quarterback for the Steelers (6-5), who have lost each of the first two games Roethlisberger missed.
Unlike a defeat at home two weeks ago to the rival Ravens (9-2) and an upset loss this past Sunday in Cleveland, however, the Steelers likely will have safety Troy Polamalu and receiver Antonio Brown in uniform and active.
Polamalu and Brown both practiced fully all week.
Around the league
The Philadelphia Eagles will again be without Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy due to concussions when they play at Dallas on Sunday night. … Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis, who has missed the last four games with an injured left knee, is expected to start Sunday at Detroit but safety Tom Zbikowski will not make the trip because of a right knee injury. … Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin is listed as doubtful to play the rival Green Bay Packers on Sunday because of a sprained left ankle. … Run-stuffing defensive end Red Bryant (foot) and linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) will both be game-time decisions Sunday for the Seattle Seahawks at Chicago. … The Buffalo Bills might be without wide receiver Donald Jones Sunday due to tightness in his calf.
49ers lineman arrested
San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana, the California Highway Patrol said.
CHP Officer D.J. Sarabia said that Dobbs was involved in a single-car accident in which he hit a fence and a bush but didn’t sustain any injuries. Dobbs was arrested at 3:45 a.m. in Santa Clara.