You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.



Bears’ Forte plans to start against Lions

– Bears running back Matt Forte expects to start Sunday against Detroit despite an ankle injury suffered last week.

Forte went through a full practice Friday and was listed probable for the game at Detroit, which the Bears will need to win if they have any shot at making the playoffs.

Linebacker Brian Urlacher is doubtful for the Lions’ game, although he went through a limited practice Friday in his first workout since before suffering a hamstring injury Dec. 2.

The team also announced Friday it had waived defensive end Cheta Ozougwu and promoted running back Harvey Unga to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. That gives the Bears two healthy running backs besides Forte. Kahlil Bell is the other backup.

Payton, Saints agree to terms on contract

Two people familiar with the deal say suspended New Orleans head coach Sean Payton has agreed in principle to a multiyear contract extension.

Payton was due to begin his seventh season as the Saints’ head coach in 2012 before being suspended the whole season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation.

Payton signed an extension in 2011, but Goodell objected to certain language in that deal, leaving Payton’s future uncertain until the deal was reached Friday.

Payton is the only coach in Saints history to win a Super Bowl, a title earned after the 2009 season, beating the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

Fines roundup

Baltimore safety Ed Reed was fined $55,000 for his high hit on the Giants’ Victor Cruz last weekend. Reed struck the wide receiver in the head and neck area and was penalized for the hit in the game. …

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was fined $21,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official and $10,000 for kicking Oakland’s Tommy Kelly after a play was over. Newton shouted at and bumped referee Jerome Boger in the fourth quarter of Carolina’s 17-6 victory. …

New England’s Vince Wilfork was docked $30,000 for hitting Jacksonville offensive lineman Steve Vallos in the head with his forearm on a play in which possession changed.

Around the league

Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew had surgery on his left foot and will be out at least until May. …

Denver kick returner Trindon Holliday (ankle) is doubtful for the season finale against Kansas City; cornerback Tracy Porter (concussion) is out; and right guard Chris Kuper (ankle, migranes) is 50-50 after being limited in practice. …

Former Ohio State star Terrelle Pryor will make his first career start at quarterback for Oakland at San Diego. … Miami receiver Davone Bess (back) is out at New England. … Cleveland quarterback Thad Lewis will make his first career start against Pittsburgh. … Buffalo defensive end Mark Anderson (knee) is out for the finale against the Jets. … Tennessee running back Chris Johnson (ankle) is expected to start against Jacksonville but the season is over for tight end Craig Stevens (concussion), linebacker Colin McCarthy (concussion) and center Kevin Matthews (ankle). … Giants starting cornerback Prince Amukamara (knee) and backup Jayron Hosley (quadriceps) are doubtful.