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NFL: Texans defensive end Williams to miss rest of year

Mario Williams, the Houston defensive end who went to the last two Pro Bowls, is out for the rest of the season.

Mario Williams, the Houston defensive end who went to the last two Pro Bowls, is out for the rest of the season.

The Texans said Wednesday that Williams had been placed on season-ending injured reserve. He's struggled with injuries since September, and a groin injury was listed as the reason.

The Texans (5-8) play at Tennessee (5-8) on Sunday. If AFC South rival Jacksonville wins just one of its last three games, Houston will be eliminated from postseason contention for the ninth straight year.

Jets extend suspension. The New York Jets suspended assistant coach Sal Alosi indefinitely after he acknowledged that he ordered five inactive players to form a wall along the sideline for a punt return, during which he tripped a Miami Dolphins player.

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said that Alosi, the team's strength and conditioning coach, did not initially volunteer during the investigation Monday that he told players to stand that way.

"Since the beginning of the year, we've been instructed to line up behind the [white] line," he said, adding that it was only Alosi who has told them to do so.

Coach Rex Ryan and special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff both have denied they ordered anyone to do what Alosi told the players.

Deal by February? Commissioner Roger Goodell said a new labor agreement could be in place by the Super Bowl "if we all commit to it and work hard at it."

Goodell made it clear that NFL negotiators were willing to do so.

"There's no higher priority than getting a collective bargaining agreement," he said following a day of meetings with NFL team owners. "So we will work night and day to get that done."

Asked whether he expects the same from the NFL Players' Association, Goodell said: "I hope so."

NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said, "We have no comment at this time."

Favre decision soon. Goodell said he is close to announcing whether the league will punish Brett Favre for sending inappropriate photos and phone messages to a former Jets game hostess.

Goodell said he received the league's report about the case last week and expected to make a decision before the end of the season.

McNabb on bench? Never mind the talk about whether Donovan McNabb will be the Washington Redskins' quarterback next season. Coach Mike Shanahan won't even say whether McNabb will be the quarterback on Sunday.

"We're not committing to tell you who the starters are at any position," Shanahan said Wednesday, explaining how he hopes to keep the Dallas Cowboys guessing about a possible switch to Rex Grossman.

It's important to note that Shanahan was in a playful mood as he dodged those quarterback questions, and that it's hard to find anyone who really believes there's a chance that Grossman will supplant McNabb.

And, for the record, if McNabb isn't starting, he made no bones about the fact that Shanahan should have told him by now.

Another hole. Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission spokesman Pat Milan said a fourth panel in the inflatable roof of the Metrodome tore open at 5:30 p.m., dumping snow and ice on the field. Milan said no one was hurt and all workers were pulled from the stadium floor. Crews will inspect the damage Thursday.