ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware needs season-ending back surgery that could spell the end of his NFL career. Ware took a big pay cut to return to the Broncos after winning his first Super Bowl ring, but he missed almost all of the offseason with back troubles. The 12-year veteran had four sacks in 10 games, putting him sixth on the NFL’s career list with 138½.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. The fifth-year pro said he will enter a treatment facility rather than appeal the ban. Martin ran for just 421 yards on 144 attempts this season after finishing second in the NFL with 1,402 yards last year.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith says he’s “89 percent” sure Sunday’s game against Cincinnati will be the last of his 16-season NFL career. Although Smith spoke with deep emotion during his 10-minute media session, he did not formally announce his retirement. He did that prior to last season but ended up changing his mind after tearing his Achilles tendon in Week 7.
UNDATED (AP) — Randy Edsall is the University of Connecticut’s head football coach once again, returning to the program he ran from 1999 through 2010 before becoming Maryland’s head coach. Edsall rebuilt the Huskies and went 70-63 with five bowl appearances at UConn, but he was just 22-34 in four-plus seasons with the Terrapins before he was fired six games into last season. He replaces Bob Diaco, who went 11-26 in three seasons.
UNDATED (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) has agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract extension that runs through the 2018-19 seasons. The reigning Calder Trophy winner has 114 points in 117 NHL games, including 15 goals and 22 assists in 37 games this season. Panarin made the team out of training camp last season and delivered 30 goals and 77 points as a rookie.