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Ex-players sue NFL over concussion injuries

Nearly two dozen former NFL players are suing the league over severe and permanent brain damage they say is linked to concussions suffered on the job.

Nearly two dozen former NFL players are suing the league over severe and permanent brain damage they say is linked to concussions suffered on the job.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Miami on behalf of ex-Dolphins teammates Patrick Surtain, Oronde Gadsden, and 19 other players, accuses the NFL of deliberately omitting or concealing years of evidence linking concussions to long-term neurological problems. The Florida complaint follows a similar one filed in Atlanta earlier this week.

The NFL denies the charges and says player safety has long been a priority.

Can't win for losing

The hard-luck Indianapolis Colts might finish with no Luck after their 19-16 win over the Houston Texans Thursday.

With two wins in five days, the Colts risk losing the No. 1 pick in April's draft and a shot at Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

Both St. Louis and Minnesota are 2-12 heading into Saturday's games.

Minnesota plays at Washington and at home against Chicago, and St. Louis finishes at Pittsburgh and at home against San Francisco.

If the Rams and Vikings lose out and Indy loses at Jacksonville on New Year's Day, the Colts would finish with at least a share of the league's worst record at 2-14 and have the top pick in the draft by virtue of strength-of-schedule tiebreaker.

But if they win and the Vikes and Rams lose out, then it's bye-bye top pick.

On Thursday night, team owner Jim Irsay said health, not money, will dictate whether future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, a 35-year-old with three neck surgeries in less than two years, is still playing in a horseshoe helmet in 2012.

"I don't see [money] being the issue. I paid him $26 million this year, and he didn't play," Irsay told the NFL Network during its pregame show. "I knew it was an iffy situation going [into the season]. In terms of if he's healthy and if he's ready to play, I see him back with us."

Feeling fine

Among the more satisfying fines levied by the league, a least for Eagles fans, was the $7,500 New York Jets receiver Santonio Holmes was hit with for his wing-flapping celebration after his second-quarter TD in the Airplanes' 45-19 loss to the Birds on Sunday.

We're usually all for entertaining taunts, but come on - the score was 28-10 against your team, dude, and the 15-yard penalty was a momentum killer. Fines for stupidity, those we're in favor of.

Write-in candidate?

The Denver Post reports that the Broncos' Tim Tebow got the most votes as America's favorite quarterback in a survey by Public Policy Polling, though the Colts' Manning had the highest overall favorability rating.

Tebow was viewed favorably by 68 percent of Republicans, the paper noted (but only 39 percent of Democrats).

With the Iowa caucuses just 10 days off, maybe it's not Donald Trump the GOP field should be worried about.

(Yeah, we know Tebow would be 10 years too young to take over the Oval Office in January 2013, but given what he's done this season, we wouldn't be surprised to see him pull it off. Would you?)