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Vikings place 4 on I.R., including Jenkins

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings placed receiver Michael Jenkins, long snapper Cullen Loeffler and safeties Husain Abdullah and Tyrell Johnson on injured reserve on Tuesday, ending the season for all four players and delivering a significant blow to a reeling team.

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Jenkins has an as yet unspecified knee injury while Loeffler broke a bone in his lower back, Abdullah has a concussion and Johnson strained his right hamstring on Sunday in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

The injuries sent the Vikings scrambling for healthy bodies heading into a game against Denver on Sunday, adding to the misery of a 2-9 season that has been short on highlights and long on injuries.

They signed receiver Stephen Burton, a seventh-round draft choice who was waived last week, long snapper Matt Katula and safeties Jarrad Page and Andrew Sendejo to fill the roster spots.

Twins fans can vote for Hall online

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fans can vote online for the 2012 Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame class.

The Twins Hall of Fame was established in 2000. The hall annually recognizes players who have made significant contributions to the Twins franchise and baseball across the Upper Midwest.

Eighteen former players are on the 2012 Twins Hall of Fame ballot.

Among the candidates are Dave Boswell, Tom Brunansky, John Castino, Mudcat Grant, Eddie Guardado, Chuck Knoblauch, Roy Smalley and Kevin Tapani.

Online voting concludes at midnight on Jan. 4, 2012. The 2012 inductees will be announced at TwinsFest, which is set for January 27-29 at the Metrodome.

Lions’ Suh appealing 2-game suspension

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The NFL says Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is appealing his two-game suspension.

League spokesman Greg Aiello says Suh’s hearing will be with Art Shell, an appointed appeal officer who is paid by the NFL and NFLPA.

Suh was suspended for two games without pay on Tuesday for stomping on Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving in a loss to the Packers.

The NFL plans to expedite the hearing to have a decision before Detroit plays at New Orleans on Sunday night. If Suh doesn’t win the appeal, he won’t play against the Saints or in a Dec. 11 matchup with Minnesota at home before being reinstated the next day ahead of a road game against Oakland.

Message seeking comment were left by The Associated Press with Suh’s agent.

Jags fire Del Rio after 3-8 start, sell team

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are headed in a completely new direction.

And Los Angeles doesn’t appear to be the destination.

Team owner Wayne Weaver fired longtime coach and former Vikings linebacker Jack Del Rio on Tuesday after a 3-8 start and agreed to sell the Jaguars to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. Weaver named defensive coordinator Mel Tucker the interim coach and gave general manager Gene Smith a three-year contract extension, putting him in charge of the coaching search.

The moves marked the most significant changes for the small-market franchise since its inception in 1993.

Forbes reported the sale to be worth $760 million.

The 77-year-old Weaver had been looking for an “exit strategy” for years, wanting to find someone to buy the team and keep it in Jacksonville. He had tears in his eyes several times as he announced his impending departure.

Del Rio’s job security had been tenuous since Weaver said the coach needed to make the playoffs to secure a 10th season in Jacksonville. The Jaguars were essentially eliminated with Sunday’s 20-13 loss to AFC South-leading Houston.

Del Rio leaves with a 69-73 record, including 1-2 in two playoffs appearances. The Jaguars didn’t win the AFC South in any of his nine seasons.

Colts fire defensive coach, change QBs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Curtis Painter and Larry Coyer are out in Indianapolis, and it could be just the start of the changes for the winless Colts.

Coach Jim Caldwell broke up a normally quiet Tuesday by announcing that Coyer had been fired as defensive coordinator and that Dan Orlovsky would replace Painter at quarterback when the Colts play at New England on Sunday. Longtime linebackers coach Mike Murphy will replace Coyer.

The moves come in the midst of a shocking 0-11 season, Indianapolis’ worst start since 1986, and two days after Indy may have lost its last chance at a victory.

Fine investigation prompts police changes

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse police say they will change the way they handle sexual abuse allegations after it took nine years to start a formal investigation from the time the first accusations were raised against a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach.

Police Chief Frank Fowler, in a prepared statement, says he can’t change what happened in 2002 when Bobby Davis accused Bernie Fine of sexually abusing him. The statement doesn’t identify Davis by name. Fine has denied the allegations.

When Davis first accused Fine in 2002, Syracuse Det. Doug Fox fielded the call. Because Davis said the abuse stopped 12 years earlier, Fox told him the statute of limitations had passed, meaning an arrest was not possible. Fox made no report.

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