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Sports briefs for Wednesday

STATE

RANDLE SLAPPED WITH 4-GAME SUSPENSION

IRVING (AP) — Running back Joseph Randle was suspended four games by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy Tuesday, one week after he was released by the Dallas Cowboys.

The suspension begins immediately even though Randle is not on an active roster.

Randle was already away from the team to deal with unspecified personal issues when he was released by the Cowboys last Tuesday. As a third-year player in Dallas, Randle started the first six games this season.

The NFL had investigated Randle’s arrest in February in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, though police declined to pursue charges against the running back after a domestic disturbance complaint. It was the second arrest in four months for Randle, who was detained on a shoplifting charge at a Dallas-area mall when police said he tried to take a bottle of cologne and a pack of underwear from a department store.

He got deferred adjudication in the case from October 2014, and the misdemeanor could be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for the next two months.

Randle, who cleared waivers and can sign with any team, backed up DeMarco Murray for two years and was the Cowboys’ first choice to replace the 2014 NFL rushing champion when Murray left for NFC East rival Philadelphia in free agency. After averaging 6.7 yards per carry in limited duty behind Murray last season, Randle rushed for 315 yards with a much-lower 4.1 average as the lead running back this year.

COWBOYS RELEASE MOORE, SIGN LB

IRVING (AP) — The Cowboys have released quarterback Kellen Moore to make room for rookie linebacker Mark Nzeocha coming off the non-football injury list.

Moore joined the Dallas practice squad in September and was later added to the active roster to serve as the backup to Brandon Weeden after Tony Romo broke his left collarbone.

Once current starter Matt Cassel was activated following a trade, Moore was inactive as the third quarterback. Moore hasn’t played in the regular season in his four-year career.

Nzeocha was a seventh-round pick despite coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at Wyoming.

The Cowboys could be thin at linebacker Sunday at Tampa Bay with Sean Lee likely out with a concussion and Anthony Hitchens nursing an ankle injury.

NATIONAL

LUCK OUT WITH MULTIPLE INJURIES

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two days after celebrating their biggest win of the season, the Indianapolis Colts dealt with their biggest loss.

Franchise quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to miss at least two to six weeks with a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle, injuries he sustained late in Sunday’s victory over Denver.

“When you take a hit to a franchise quarterback, it is a tough blow,” coach Chuck Pagano said Tuesday. “We’ve been through a lot in this 2015 season, but I know this will galvanize us even more.”

Pagano said he believed Luck was injured in the first minute of the fourth quarter when he tried to scramble for a first down near the Denver goal line. Linebacker Danny Trevathan squared up on Luck from the front while defensive end Vance Walker hit Luck hard on the side of his left shoulder, bending him over awkwardly.

The hit drew immediately drew gasps inside Lucas Oil Stadium. But Luck broke the 17-17 tie on the next play with an 8-yard pass to Ahmad Bradshaw, his second TD throw of the game. He never came out and continued to take some big hits.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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