The NFL is working with Boston University brain researchers who criticized the league's stance on concussions.

The league plans to encourage current and former NFL players to agree to donate their brains to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which has said it found links between repeated head trauma and brain damage in boxers, football players and, most recently, a former NHL player.

"It's huge that the NFL actively gets behind this research," said Robert Cantu, a co-director of the BU center who has spoken negatively about the league in the past.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press yesterday that the league also was committed to giving $1 million or more to the center.

The partnership is the latest in a series of moves the NFL has made in recent weeks to step up its attention to concussions in the aftermath of a congressional hearing on the topic.

High-profile players Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, Clinton Portis and Brian Westbrook have been sidelined by head injuries this season.

Browns break records. Relatively unknown Cleveland running back Jerome Harrison eclipsed one of the game's legendary stars when he gained 286 yards in the Browns' 41-34 win over Kansas City yesterday.

Harrison's performance broke Cleveland's single-game rushing record previously held by Hall of Famer Jim Brown.

Brown had 237 yards twice, in November 1961 against the Eagles and also in 1957 vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

Before yesterday, Harrison had a grand total of 301 yards this season.

In the same game, Cleveland's Joshua Cribbs broke the NFL record with his seventh career kickoff return for a touchdown, and then added an eighth TD return. Cribbs' kickoff returns of 100 and 103 yards in the first half broke the NFL career record and tied the single-game mark.

Titans still alive. Tennessee kept its chances alive of making NFL history with a 27-24 win over Miami. The Titans are now 7-7 and still in the AFC playoff hunt, albeit just barely. If they make the playoffs, they would be the first team in NFL history to do so after starting the season 0-6. The Dolphins are also 7-7.