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Simms has spleen removed after Bucs loss (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060925/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_bucs_simms"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060924/capt.9969386ae8784cc1ae38891b4c341cee.panthers_buccaneers_football_ncchn101.jpg?x=130&y=82&sig=rAaIqI1q3vuDj.yuwAfBRg--" align="left" height="82" width="130" alt="Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms falls as Carolina Panthers defensive end Al Wallace (96) makes a hit during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006, at in Tampa, Fla. The Panthers won 26-24. (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Jeff Siner)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms had his spleen removed after taking several hard hits in 26-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers and was resting comfortably in a hospital Sunday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Defense sparks Broncos over Pats 17-7 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060925/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_broncos_patriots"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060925/capt.456100c331d948d2bbe6f794ad73000a.broncos_patriots_football_maea110.jpg?x=130&y=129&sig=tD5eF9F3v85nExeAcg4t0A--" align="left" height="129" width="130" alt="New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)" border="0" /></a>AP - Jake Plummer and Javon Walker gave the Broncos enough offense to keep the finicky Denver fans at bay &#151; for another week, at least. The Broncos' defense did the rest.</p><br clear="all"/>

Palmer gets his revenge in Pittsburgh (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060924/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_bengals_steelers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060924/capt.db26781f35ec4d409d77872ee3ce62e7.bengals_steelers_football_pagp102.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=kDW94kZnZmgjRhJpowlB9g--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor (24) can't break up a Carson Palmer touchdown pass to Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry (15) during the second quarter of NFL football action Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006 in Pittsburgh.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)" border="0" /></a>AP - He hated the eight months of exhausting rehabilitation, and the team that made him go through it. Carson Palmer didn't play the way he wanted against the team he dislikes the most, but the result couldn't have been more satisfying.</p><br clear="all"/>

Tigers grab 1st playoff berth since 1987 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060924/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_tigers_royals"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060924/capt.9afe14c7c5604fa3a4581d590a90d9d2.tigers_royals_baseball_mocr104.jpg?x=130&y=107&sig=tP01TE20QpO6LcUVkXpWdg--" align="left" height="107" width="130" alt="Detroit Tigers opener Justin Verlander delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Detroit Tigers had a 220-bottle champagne celebration Sunday and they hope to have even a bigger one later this week. The Tigers fought off their late-season slump and clinched their first playoff berth since 1987, scoring nine runs in the second inning Sunday and coasting to an 11-4 win over the Kansas City Royals.</p><br clear="all"/>

Hoffman becomes saves leader; Padres win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060925/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_pirates_padres"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060924/capt.8967373124dc46029a74284b1e21f479.pirates_padres_baseball_cadp103.jpg?x=130&y=82&sig=ORelxevdpVKi.KtTCaU5Dw--" align="left" height="82" width="130" alt="Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson loses the ball as San Diego Padres Dave Roberts into second base with a steal during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)" border="0" /></a>AP - There was no doubt for whom the heavy metal bells were tolling on Sunday &#151; Trevor Hoffman and his 479 career saves. The San Diego Padres' 38-year-old closer pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in front of a roaring crowd to become baseball's career saves leader in a memorable 2-1 win for the NL West leaders over the Pittsburgh Pirates.</p><br clear="all"/>

Saints fans thrilled to be returning home (AP)
AP - Brian and LaChandra McGowan's lives are still in disarray.

Wagner to return to NBA with Warriors (AFP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060922/sp_afp/basketnbawarriors"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20060922/capt.sge.qeq47.220906215015.photo00.photo.default-350x512.jpg?x=88&y=130&sig=Ka.jVMjtDAhh979tTCfW9g--" align="left" height="130" width="88" alt="The Golden State Warriors signed the oft-injured guard Dajuan Wagner, seen here in 2004 and who has not played in the National Basketball League since 2004-05.(AFP/Getty Images/File)" border="0" /></a>AFP - The Golden State Warriors signed the oft-injured guard Dajuan Wagner, who has not played in the National Basketball League since 2004-05.</p><br clear="all"/>

Tigers clinch playoff berth (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060925/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_al_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060925/capt.dcded33a8f3242a8a67d466ededc1328.tigers_royals_baseball_kscr101.jpg?x=130&y=127&sig=8wOg5PojfWfZu7leTrQq5Q--" align="left" height="127" width="130" alt="Detroit Tigers' Omar Infante celebrates with manager Jim Leyland after scoring during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006, in Kansas City, Mo. Tigers secured a playoff berth with their 11-4 win. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)" border="0" /></a>AP - Brandon Inge was there at the low point, when the Detroit Tigers set an AL record for losses by going 43-119 in 2003. Detroit fought off its late-season slump and clinched its first playoff berth since 1987, scoring nine runs in the second inning Sunday and coasting to an 11-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.</p><br clear="all"/>

Inter Milan takes over first place (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060925/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_euro_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060924/capt.5c84812ec51c466caf1a9f7f98fa72ea.italy_soccer_lb111.jpg?x=130&y=90&sig=tLxnf4EMo9frPzr5T6h_ew--" align="left" height="90" width="130" alt="Inter Milan's forward Hernan Crespo of Argentina, left, celebrates with his teammate Dejan Stankovic of Serbia and Montenegro after scoring against Chievo during an Italian league soccer match in Milan, Italy, Sunday Sept. 24, 2006. Inter Milan won 4-3. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)" border="0" /></a>AP - Internazionale moved into first place in the Italian league Sunday, getting two goals Hernan Crespo in a 4-3 win over Chievo Verona.</p><br clear="all"/>

DiPietro struggles in Isles' debut (AP)
AP - Rick DiPietro and Ted Nolan got off to rough starts Friday night in the New York Islanders' first exhibition game of the season.

Turning down the heat
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. &ndash; With mounting pressure for the Broncos to bench him, Jake Plummer was flawless against the Pats.

Buccaneers QB Simms has spleen removed (AP)
Chris Simms went to the ground on one knee and leaned over clutching his midsection. The battered Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback later had his spleen removed Sunday night and is out indefinitely after absorbing several punishing hits during a 26-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers. "Chris is doing well and we anticipate a full recovery," team physician Dr.

Palmer, Bengals top Steelers 28-20 (AP)
He hated the eight months of exhausting rehabilitation, and the team that made him go through it. Carson Palmer didn't play the way he wanted against the team he dislikes the most, but the result couldn't have been more satisfying. Alternating between brilliant and awful, the Cincinnati quarterback threw two touchdown passes to T.J.

Colts top Jags in AFC South showdown (AP)
The Indianapolis Colts' high-scoring offense proved it could be patient, too. Peyton Manning went into the locker room at halftime and tried to not be frustrated after the Colts had only three first-half series and nine offensive plays in the first 27 minutes. "You do have to stay poised," the two-time MVP said.

Hasselbeck leads Seahawks over Giants (AP)
Flat doesn't begin to describe the New York Giants' start to their supposed showdown with Seattle. Flattened is more like it. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw five touchdown passes -- four in a first half in which Eli Manning had three interceptions. New York trailed 42-3 before rallying in the fourth quarter to a 42-30 loss Sunday.

Plummer powers Broncos past Pats (AP)
Jake Plummer and Javon Walker gave the Broncos enough offense to keep the finicky Denver fans at bay -- for another week, at least. The Broncos' defense did the rest. Plummer, the quick target of Denver boo-birds after two bad performances, threw touchdown passes of 83 and 32 yards to Walker on Sunday night as the Broncos beat The New England Patriots 17-7.

Bears top Vikes on Grossman's late TD (AP)
For more than 3 1/2 quarters, Minnesota was beating Chicago at its own defensive game. By the end, it was the Bears who pulled a switcheroo on the Vikings. After a rough afternoon against a suddenly stingy Minnesota defense, Rex Grossman threw a 24-yard touchdown to Rashied Davis right after the 2-minute warning to rally the Bears to a 19-16 win on Sunday -- the same kind of road victory the...

Favre gets 400th TD, Packers top Lions (AP)
Brett Favre sprinted toward the end zone, signaled touchdown and then pumped his right fist. The 36-year-old quarterback had just become the second player in NFL history to throw 400 career touchdown passes. He added two more scores to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 31-24 win over Detroit on Sunday for their first victory of the season.

Brunell sets record in Redskins' romp (AP)
Mark Brunell spent all week trying to ignore the criticism. Then he spent all of Sunday quieting it. One connection after another, Brunell kept finding holes in the Houston Texans' shaky defense, breaking an NFL record for consecutive completed passes en route to Washington's first win. Brunell completed his first 22 throws and Clinton Portis scored two touchdowns in his first start of the season as...

Westbrook powers Eagles over Niners (AP)
Mike Patterson simply followed one of football's oldest rules: Keep playing until you hear the whistle. About 98 yards after he started running with a loose ball nobody seemed to want, the 292-pound defensive lineman was begging for that whistle. Wheezing, wincing and finally walking, Patterson still crossed the opposite goal line with the stunning fumble return that helped the Philadelphia Eagles...

Warriors ink oft-injured G Dajuan Wagner (AP)
Dajuan Wagner, the once-promising point guard whose NBA career was derailed by injuries and a serious illness, signed with the Golden State Warriors on Friday after being out of the league for nearly two years. Wagner was the sixth pick in the 2002 draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers after just one collegiate season at Memphis, but health problems prevented him from becoming the star most expected.

LeBron chats up Letterman, Buffett (AP)
LeBron James spent part of the past week shooting hoops with Dave and eating cheeseburgers with one of the world's richest men. During a taped appearance on "Late Show with David Letterman" that will air on Friday, the Cavaliers' star forward took on the talk show host in a shooting contest outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan.

Kobe hopes to be ready for start of camp (AP)
Kobe Bryant took care of a number of things this summer: He traveled around Asia -- where some of his basketball comments got lost in translation -- underwent knee surgery and hit the weights. One thing he didn't do was play for the United States at the world championships. He wanted to be on the team, but his right knee didn't cooperate.

Hawks G Claxton breaks bone in hand (AP)
Atlanta Hawks guard Speedy Claxton is questionable for the beginning of the season after breaking a bone in his left hand. Claxton, who was injured during a workout Monday, was examined Thursday by Dr. Michael Bernot, a team physician, and will see hand specialist Dr. Stephen McCollam on Friday. The 28-year-old Claxton, expected to be Atlanta's starting point guard, signed a four-year, $25.5 million...

Hornets seek contingency plan for '07-08 (AP)
The Hornets have requested an option that would allow the team to spend a third season in Oklahoma City as a contingency plan if it is unable to return to New Orleans in 2007-08 as planned. The request is being handled as part of a negotiations to resolve a disagreement over the amount of revenue from last season the team must share with the city.

EEOC: Hostile work environment at MSG (AP)
A federal agency found probable cause to believe a hostile work environment existed at Madison Square Garden, where a former Knicks executive claims she was sexually harassed by New York coach Isiah Thomas. The treatment of senior Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders was not an isolated incident, and included "severe and pervasive verbal sexual harassment," according to the findings released...

Blazers F Randolph won't face charges (AP)
Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Randolph was cleared of a sexual assault allegation after prosecutors said there is no testimony or evidence to corroborate the story of the woman who accused him. Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk announced Wednesday that he will not prosecute the case against Randolph, who was never named as a suspect by police.

Last of a dying breed
NHL games used to be about the fights as much as the goals. But with Tie Domi's retirement, that era is gone for good.

Blues to retire Brett Hull's No. 16 (AP)
Brett Hull, the high-scoring former St. Louis star who set numerous franchise records in 11 seasons with the Blues, will have his No. 16 jersey retired by the team in December. "It's going to be great," new Blues president John Davidson said. "He made a huge impact on this franchise." Hull holds franchise records for goals (527), hat tricks (27), game-winning goals (70), power-play goals (195) and...

Guerin scores four goals, Blues win (AP)
Bill Guerin scored his first four goals of the preseason and added an assist to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-3 on Sunday night. The 35-year-old Guerin started the scoring in the opening minute and finished it with an empty-net goal. He put the Blues (1-3) ahead 4-3 when he put in his own rebound with 6:18 left in the third and had 10 of St.

Blue Jackets top winless Hurricanes (AP)
Rick Nash scored twice to help the Columbus Blue Jackets keep the defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes winless in the preseason with a 4-2 win Sunday night. Dan Fritsche and Geoff Platt also scored for Columbus (3-3), which snapped a three-game losing streak. Pascal Leclaire stopped 27 shots.

Blackhawks win fifth in a row, top Wild (AP)
Rookie Dave Bolland scored two power-play goals and the Chicago Blackhawks remained unbeaten in the preseason with a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. Jeff Hamilton, Michael Blunden and Craig MacDonald also connected for Chicago (5-0), which scored three power-play goals for the third straight game.

Prospal, Boyle power Tampa past Stars (AP)
Vinny Prospal and Dan Boyle had two goals each to help the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 7-4 in a preseason game Sunday night. Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards had four assists apiece for Tampa Bay. Marc Denis stopped 28 shots. Dallas got a goal and an assist from Mike Modano. Marty Turco made 29 saves.

Special teams carries Senators to win (AP)
Chris Kelly, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza scored power-play goals in an 8:35 span in the second and third periods to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 exhibition win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night. Kelly pulled the Senators (3-2) within a goal with 2:31 left in the second, Heatley tied it at 4:51 of the third and Spezza added the winner at 6:04.

LeClair lifts Penguins past Flyers (AP)
John LeClair scored a power-play goal with 4:30 to play and Jocelyn Thibault made 18 saves to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in exhibition play Sunday night at John Labatt Centre. Pittsburgh's Ryan Stone opened the scoring at 5:24 of the second period, and Philadelphia's Geoff Sanderson tied it on a power play with 3:19 left in the period.

Dover Observations
DOVER, Del. &ndash; Race winner Jeff Burton made a statement on Sunday. So did Tony Stewart.

Thrilling late pass propels Burton to Dover win, points lead (AP)
On a day when Jeff Burton finally finished a win, three top Chase drivers had their title hopes all but finished.

Burton wins NASCAR Dover 400, takes lead in Chase (SportsTicker)

Accident, equipment woes knock Chase drivers out of contention (AP)
It was the one scenario most non-Chase drivers dreaded: Costing a championship contender a shot at the Nextel Cup title with a wreck. It happened with Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne.

Montoya gets release from F1 contract, set to test stock car at Talladega (AP)
Juan Pablo Montoya has been released from his Formula One contact with McLaren and is scheduled to test a stock car at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday.

Skinner wins Smith's Las Vegas 350 (AP)
Mike Skinner raced to his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory of the year Saturday night, passing Ted Musgrave with 20 laps to go and holding on to take the Smith's Las Vegas 350.

Skinner wins NCTS Smith's Las Vegas 350 from pole (SportsTicker)

Bowyer captures first Busch win of season at Dover (SportsTicker)

Bowyer wins Busch Series race at Dover (AP)
Clint Bowyer found a way to maneuver his way around the spinning and smoking cars that littered Dover International Speedway.

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