The Denver Broncos began the season without strong-side linebacker Von Miller, and they'll end it without him, too.
Miller is done for the year after tests Monday revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which he injured in the first quarter of Denver's 37-13 win at Houston on Sunday.
The Broncos (12-3) can wrap up the AFC's top seed with a win at Oakland (4-11) on Sunday.
Miller's injury ended a rough third season for the Broncos star, which began with a six-game drug suspension and included just five sacks and 33 tackles in nine games.
In other injury news, Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is "highly doubtful" for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons with a left knee sprain, Carolina coach Ron Rivera said Monday.
Saving Coach Ryan
Rex Ryan insists his focus is on the New York Jets' season finale at Miami and not his uncertain status as coach.
Ryan is sitting squarely on the hot seat as the Jets (7-8) complete their third straight non-playoff season. But many of his players, along with fans, have publicly backed him. He has one year remaining on his contract, but general manager John Idzik has not commented on his future.
Ryan refused to discuss his status or reports that he told his players he could be on his way out and was angry that the team has begun to consider replacements.
Head Lion confesses
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz says he should have kept his thoughts to himself instead of shouting at booing fans.
After video went viral of him shouting something a lip-reader might rate PG-13, Schwartz reluctantly acknowledged he did say something to the crowd during the final seconds of the fourth quarter of Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants.
The previous day at his postgame news conference, Schwartz insisted he wasn't responding to the fans who voiced their displeasure with the decision to play for overtime.
The Lions eliminated themselves from the NFC North title race by losing five of their last six games.
McLoin out, Pryor in
Terrelle Pryor will start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, replacing ex-Penn State star Matt McGloin for the final regular-season game. In the last two games alone, the undrafted rookie threw six interceptions and lost two fumbles.
- Inquirer wire services