HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien says Brock Osweiler (AHS’-wy-lur) will start at quarterback on Saturday against the Raiders in their wild-card game. Tom Savage started the Texans’ last two games but is still recovering from a concussion he suffered on Sunday. Osweiler started the first 14 games this season before being benched on Dec. 18 following interceptions on consecutive drives in the second quarter.
UNDATED (AP) — First-year eligibles LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor and Brian Dawkins are among 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Morten Andersen, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Terrell Davis and Alan Faneca (FAN’-eh-kah) also made the list, as did Joe Jacoby, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae (mah-WY’), Terrell Owens and Kurt Warner. Seattle safety was chosen as a finalist by the veterans committee, and the nominees in the contributors’ category are former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (TAG’-lee-uh-boo) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota has announced the firing of head football coach Tracy Claeys. The decision comes just over two weeks after the football program became embroiled in a standoff with the administration over the suspension of 10 players in connection with allegations of sexual assault. The Golden Gophers went 9-4 this season and beat Washington State in the Holiday Bowl.
UNDATED (AP) — Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine (suh-MAH’-jay peh-REEN’) says he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. He became the school’s all-time leading rusher during Monday’s Sugar Bowl win over Auburn, finishing with 4,122 yards. Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett and wide receiver Josh Malone are planning enter the NFL draft, as are Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson and offensive tackle David Sharpe.
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds hope they have bolstered their bullpen by working out a one-year, $3 million deal with Drew Storen. The 29-year-old former closer was 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA in 57 appearances for Toronto and Seattle. He joins a bullpen that surrendered a major league-record 103 homers last season and led the National League in walks.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Rajai (RAH’-zhay) Davis is back in the Bay Area after accepting a one-year pact with Oakland. Davis just helped the Indians win the American League pennant and tied Game 7 of the World Series with an eighth-inning homer before the Cubs prevailed. The 36-year-old Davis batted .249 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 134 games during his lone season with Cleveland.