ST. LOUIS - The Pittsburgh Steelers posted a 41-24 victory over the St. Louis Rams last night, but they also suffered a big loss.

Running back Willie Parker, the NFL's leading rusher with 1,316 yards, left with a broken right leg in the first quarter.

Parker's replacement, Najeh Davenport, scored two touchdowns and racked up 123 rushing yards for Pittsburgh (10-5).

Marc Bulger threw three touchdown passes but was intercepted twice for the Rams (3-12). Ike Taylor's 51-yard interception return for a touchdown with 3 minutes, 46 seconds left sealed it for the Steelers.

"Pacman" loses appeal.

The NFL rejected an appeal by the players' union on behalf of suspended Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell turned down Jones' request for leniency Nov. 6. The NFL Players' Association appealed that ruling as excessive and had a hearing by telephone Dec. 14.

Jones must serve the final two games of his season-long suspension. Goodell suspended him for the season in April. The cornerback has been arrested six times since being drafted in 2005.

Tennessee (8-6) is contending for its first playoff berth since 2003. The Titans will host the 3-11 Jets on Sunday.

Dolphins.

Miami signed Bill Parcells to a four-year contract as executive vice president of football operations, which means he will oversee "anything that has to do with football, directly or indirectly," said Wayne Huizenga, the Dolphins' owner.

Simply put: Parcells is in charge. "He's got the ultimate responsibility," Huizenga said.

The two-time Super Bowl champion coach will report directly to Huizenga.

"I'm honored to join such an illustrious franchise as the Miami Dolphins and to work for one of the best owners in the league in Wayne Huizenga," said Parcells, 66. "He shares my same commitment to winning, and I told him I would do everything I can to help turn around the team's fortunes."

Saints.

New Orleans running back Reggie Bush sat out practice, but coach Sean Payton is not ready to rule him out for Sunday's crucial home game against the Eagles.

"We backed off him some today," Payton said of Bush, who practiced to a limited extent on Wednesday.

The Saints discovered on Dec. 6 that Bush had a partial posterior cruciate ligament tear in his knee that would not require surgery but would likely require about a month of rehabilitation.

Bush, however, returned to practice this week, ahead of schedule after sitting out only two games.

The Saints (7-7) risk being eliminated from playoff contention if they fall to the Eagles and Minnesota beats Washington.

Tight end Eric Johnson also sat out practice with a pulled right groin.

Ravens.

Rookie quarterback Troy Smith will make his first start Sunday when Baltimore visits the Seattle Seahawks.

With Kyle Boller missing his second consecutive day of practice because of lingering effects from a concussion, Ravens coach Brian Billick confirmed that Smith would take his place.

Colts.

Indianapolis tight end Ben Utecht returned to practice one day after sitting out with an injured shoulder.

Rookie outside linebacker Clint Session (ankle) and wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe (illness) also returned. All three could play Sunday against Houston at the RCA Dome, the Colts said.

TV dispute.

The NFL responded to pressure from senators by offering Time Warner Cable temporary access to the NFL Network in exchange for using the arbitration process the league wants, but the cable company reaffirmed its preference for private negotiations.

A day earlier, a letter to the NFL from two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) and Sen. Arlen Specter, (R., Pa.,) threatened to reconsider the league's antitrust exemption if it did not make games on the network available to more viewers.