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NFL

Trainer to consult on concussions

The NFL is changing how it handles concussion examinations after Browns quarterback Colt McCoy went back into a Dec. 8 game without being tested for one. The league said in a statement that a certified athletic trainer, paid by the NFL, would be at each game to monitor play and provide medical staffs with "any relevant information that may assist them in determining the most appropriate evaluation and treatment." The trainer will not diagnose nor prescribe treatment and can't order that players be removed from a game. The trainer will be in a booth upstairs with access to video replay and direct communication to the medical staffs of both teams.

McCoy still can't practice

McCoy still hasn't shaken symptoms from the concussion sustained nearly two weeks ago. McCoy was not cleared to practice again Wednesday, keeping him sidelined since he was illegally blasted in the face mask by Pittsburgh's James Harrison on Dec. 8.

Rams' Pettis banned for PEDs

St. Louis Rams rookie wide receiver Austin Pettis has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. Pettis, a third-round pick out of Boise State, has made three starts and has 27 catches for 256 yards, a 9.5-yard average. He'll be eligible to return after the Rams' second game next season.

NBA

Bulls extend Rose for $94M

Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls' superstar point guard and the league's reigning MVP, agreed to a five-year contract extension worth more than $94 million that kicks in next season. The extension is just another step in a rapid and steady rise from a tough neighborhood on Chicago's South Side to a starring role with his hometown team after being taken with the No. 1 pick in the draft. He averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds over 81 games, the only NBA player last season to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and assists. Seated off to the side at his news conference was his mother, Brenda. "I think I can finally say this now. Mom, I finally made it," he said.

NHL

Giroux back from concussion

Claude Giroux had a goal and three assists in his return from a four-game absence because of a concussion and the surging Philadelphia Flyers beat the host Dallas Stars, 4-1. Giroux, the Flyers' top scorer, was out since he was injured in a game against Tampa Bay on Dec. 10, when he was accidentally hit in the back of the head by teammate Wayne Simmonds' knee. Giroux had been tied for the league league in scoring with 39 points entering the game.

-- AP

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