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Professional

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NFL

New look at red-flag penalty

– A top NFL executive says the rule that negated using video replay to confirm a Houston touchdown Thursday “may be too harsh” and will be re-examined immediately.

Ray Anderson, the league’s director of football operations, says a 15-yard penalty for throwing the challenge flag on a play that is automatically reviewed might be enough.

For now, throwing the challenge flag also eliminates the use of replay; all scoring plays otherwise are reviewed.

Justin Forsett’s third-quarter 81-yard run in the Texans’ 34-31 overtime victory at Detroit initially was ruled a touchdown, although replays clearly showed his knee and elbow touched the turf when he was hit by Lions defenders. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz challenged, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Cutler questionable

The status of Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler going into the weekend remains uncertain because of a concussion, although coach Lovie Smith said he is optimistic about Cutler’s return.

Cutler, who missed Monday night’s 32-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, is listed as questionable against Minnesota. Whether he plays in Sunday’s game at Soldier Field hinges on passing a test from an independent neurologist today.

Around the league

Coach Rex Ryan insists that Tim Tebow “100 percent” could have played in the New York Jets’ 49-19 loss to New England on Thursday, despite the backup quarterback having two broken ribs. …

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh expects quarterback Alex Smith to be medically cleared at to play by today. … For the first time in seven weeks, safety Troy Polamalu was on the practice field with Pittsburgh, though he is doubtful to play Sunday at Cleveland. …

Minnesota will likely be without wide receiver Percy Harvin against Chicago because of his sprained left ankle.

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