Update on the latest in sports:



Former NFL and TV/movie star dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Karras has died.

The former defensive tackle of the Detroit Lions, who had a successful movie and TV career after retiring from the NFL, passed away at the age of 77.

Karras played all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Lions and was an All-Pro four times.

His reputation grew as the result of author George Plimpton's book, Paper Lion, about his attempt to try out for the team. When the book was turned into a movie, Karras played himself. He later appeared in the Mel Brooks comedy,"Blazing Saddles", as Mongo. One of his most memorable scenes was when he punched a horse in the mouth, knocking it down.

Karras also had success on television, both in the broadcast booth for Monday Night Football and as an actor. He starred in the sitcom, "Webster."

His attorney, Craig Mitnick, says Karras died at his home with his family. He had been suffering from dementia and was a leader in the lawsuit filed against the NFL regarding the league's treatment of head injuries.


Busy day of play

UNDATED (AP) — All eight teams vying for advancement in the playoffs are in action today. There are two day games and two this evening.

First up, in Washington, D.C., the St. Louis Cardinals took a quick 4-0 lead over the Nationals and never looked back. They defeated the National League Eastern champs 8-0 after eight innings

Game 4 in the series will take place tomorrow in Washington.

The other day game is in Cincinnati as the Reds are facing the Giants in Game 4 of their series. Angel Pagan (puh-GAHN') homered on the second pitch of the game giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. Currently, the Giants are up 3-1 in the second inning.

The Reds entered the game with a 2-1 lead in the best of five series.

Before the game the Reds were given permission by Major League Baseball to drop injured ace Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) from their division series roster and replace him with Mike Leake. Cueto pulled muscles in his side in the first inning of his game one start. Leake is starting today's game.

The move means the 19-game winner won't be allowed to pitch in the NL championship series if the Reds get that far.

The fifth game will be played tomorrow in Cincinnati.

The first of the evening games has Baltimore playing in New York. The Yankees took the first game of the best of five affair while the Orioles came back to win the second. This evening's pitching matchup has Miguel Gonzalez going for the Birds against Hiroki Kuroda (hih-ROH'-kee kih-ROH'-dah) for the Yankees. Gonzalez has pitched well on the road and is 2-0 against the Yankees with a 2.63 ERA in two career starts in the Bronx. This is Kuroda's third post season appearance as he went to the NLCS with the Dodgers in 2008 and 2009.

The Yankees have announced that Alex Rodriguez has been shifted to designated hitter.

Game four is tomorrow in Yankee Stadium.

The final game of the night will feature the Athletics at home to the Tigers. Oakland kept its playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 win last night on the home turf. The win came after the Tigers won the first two games of the series in Detroit. On the mound for the Tigers is right-hander Max Scherzer, who is pitching on six days rest. He'll be facing 24-year old rookie A.J. Griffin, who joined the A's in June from the minor leagues. He was drafted in the 13th round of the draft two years ago from the University of San Diego. This is his first post season appearance.

Should the A's win tonight's game, the fifth and final game will be played Thursday in Oakland.


QB given green light

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III has been cleared to play and is practicing with his Washington Redskins teammates after suffering a mild concussion. Griffin went through the NFL's concussion protocol after being knocked out of Sunday's game against Atlanta and was cleared to return to practice. The second overall pick in April's draft is set to start Sunday against Minnesota.

The rookie quarterback left the game against Atlanta with a mild concussion after being hit by the Falcons' Sean Weatherspoon while scrambling on third-and-goal in the third quarter.


Tebow is staying put

NEW YORK (AP) — Jets owner Woody Johnson says backup quarterback Tim Tebow will "be with us for three years." Appearing on CNBC, Johnson also said he supports struggling starter Mark Sanchez. Johnson said that despite some speculation that the Jets could try to trade Tebow after this season, his first in New York, the team will "absolutely" keep him for the duration of his contract.


Talks resume

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL and the players' association are talking again as the lockout reaches its 25th day. The sides are meeting in New York. On Friday, they held an unannounced meeting in Toronto to discuss where they were and how to move the process forward.

Officials on both sides were in contact Saturday and Sunday.

The NHL canceled the first two weeks of the regular season Thursday, wiping out 82 games from Oct. 11-24.


NCAA upholds sanctions

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The NCAA is standing by a decision that Boise State must lower the number of football scholarships it can award in the next two years. The decision comes after Boise State officials appealed the scholarship penalty included in a series of sanctions handed down earlier this year by the NCAA. As part of the penalty package, the NCAA ordered the school to cut football scholarships from 85 to 82 in each of the next two years.

In their appeal, school officials argued the penalty levied against Boise State was inconsistent when compared to past cases.


Anti-doping agency lays out its case

UNDATED (AP) — The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says 11 of Lance Armstrong's former teammates served as witnesses against him in its investigation of the cyclist, revealing "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

In more than 150 pages, USADA (YOU'-sah-duh) details cheating by Armstrong's teams. Among the former teammates named are Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.

The report accuses Armstrong of depending on performance-enhancing drugs to fuel his victories and "more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates" do the same.

Armstrong did not fight the USADA charges, but insists he never cheated.


Veteran U.S. luger to coach

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Tony Benshoof is coming back to USA Luge as a junior coach. The most decorated men's luge athlete in the federation's history, Benshoof will be a co-head coach for the U.S. Junior National Team this season.

Benshoof won 37 international medals as an athlete and was fourth at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Back problems forced him to step away from competition after the 2010 Vancouver Games.

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