Football

NFL notes: Austin returns to practice for Dallas

Star receiver Miles Austin and fullback Tony Fiammetta returned to practice Wednesday for the Dallas Cowboys and are expected to play Sunday. Austin has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, and Fiammetta the last three with an undisclosed illness.

"We're encouraged to see them back out there playing football," Coach Jason Garrett said.

The Cowboys play host to the New York Giants on Sunday night in a showdown for first place in the NFC East.

Masthay honored

Packers punter and former Kentucky standout Tim Masthay was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Against the Giants last Sunday, Mast-hay placed four of five punts inside the New York 20-yard line and averaged 44.2 yards per punt.

Archie: Peyton, Luck can co-exist in Indy

Archie Manning figures Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck can co-exist in Indianapolis after all. One day after Archie Manning told an Indy radio show he didn't think either quarterback wanted to be on the same team, he backtracked and said he thought the two could work together just fine — if the winless Colts get the No. 1 pick next spring and choose Luck.

"I'm sure they could," Archie Manning said Wednesday. "Andrew is a great young man and we've enjoyed getting to know him. He and Peyton have a friendship, and I'm one of the few people out there that's not really concerned about this deal."

Around the league

Bengals: Cincinnati placed defensive tackle Pat Sims on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday after learning his left ankle was more severely hurt than initially thought. Sims sat out a 35-7 loss in Pittsburgh with the injury, but hoped to be recovered before the end of the season.

Packers: Green Bay signed Graham Harrell from the practice squad to the active roster, fending off potential interest from the Buffalo Bills. With No. 2 quarterback Matt Flynn likely to get some free-agent offers in the off-season, Harrell appears to have an inside track to becoming Aaron Rodgers' backup next season.

■ Cornerback Charles Woodson returned to practice on a limited basis for the Packers, another sign he's making progress recovering from a concussion sustained in Sunday's victory over the Giants.

Texans: Jeff Garcia signed with Houston and will be the team's No. 3 quarterback behind rookie T.J. Yates and Jake Delhomme. The 41-year-old Garcia had individual workouts in Houston following injuries to both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart.

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