CHICAGO - Robbie Gould and the Chicago Bears handed Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints another devastating loss at Soldier Field last night.
Gould, a former Penn State star, kicked the tying field goal at the end of regulation and then booted a 35-yarder in overtime to lift the Bears to a 27-24 victory, giving Chicago's playoff hopes a boost.
The Saints left the Windy City with season-ending losses in the last two years, and last night, their slim playoff hopes took another blow.
Brees hit Marques Colston for an 11-yard touchdown pass with just over three minutes left in regulation to give New Orleans (7-7) its first lead at 24-21.
Gould's 28-yard field goal as time expired sent the game into overtime for the Bears (8-6).
Suspensions on hold. A Minnesota judge extended his injunction against the suspension of five players for violating the NFL's anti-doping policy, clearing the way for them to play at least the next two weeks.
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson suggested the league and the players try to work out the dispute themselves. Barring that, Magnuson said he would hold an evidentiary hearing and asked both parties to propose a schedule by Dec. 22 to file pleadings.
Kevin and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings and Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints were suspended last week for four games each. They tested positive for the banned diuretic Bumetanide, which was contained in the dietary supplement StarCaps.
Pro Bowl voting. Washington won the fan Pro Bowl voting in nine of 19 positions for the NFC, the result of an aggressive marketing campaign.
Brees received the most votes overall, followed by New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
But two Redskins were in the top 10: running back Clinton Portis (fourth) and tight end Chris Cooley (10th).
Fan balloting, which ended Tuesday, counts for one-third of the total in Pro Bowl voting.
Noteworthy. Running back Fred Taylor will miss the rest of the season after suffering torn ligaments in his left thumb. . . . Jets wide receiver Brad Smith has a concussion as a result of a hit he took from San Francisco's Patrick Willis. His status for New York's game against Buffalo on Sunday is uncertain. . . . Defensive end Aaron Schobel was placed on injured reserve because of a left foot injury that has forced the Buffalo Bills' top pass-rusher to miss most of the season. . . . Quarterback Matt Cassel has returned to practice with the New England Patriots after missing Wednesday's workouts following the death of his father, Greg.