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Plummer apologizes for obscene gesture

Denver Broncos: Quarterback Jake Plummer flashed an
obscene gesture toward the stands Sunday after throwing a
first-quarter interception and getting jeered in Denver's 20-17
victory over Miami.

"I apologize for that to our fans and everyone," Plummer said.
"It wasn't directed to our fans. One guy got into my head a little
bit. It shouldn't be that way."

Plummer finished 16-for-30 with two interceptions. He has no
touchdowns and six interceptions in the last two games and has been
the target of non-stop criticism recently in Denver.

Last week, former teammate Shannon Sharpe ripped into him,
although Plummer said he hadn't heard the comments and labeled them
nothing more than "Chinook winds blowing off the mountains."

He wasn't able to turn a deaf ear to the fans, however.

The interception came on a sidearm throw that was nabbed by
Dolphins defensive end Jay Williams, the fourth defensive lineman
to pick him off this season. After the play, TV cameras caught
Plummer putting his middle finger behind his head while sitting on
the bench, without turning around.

"I'm not going to lie and say I didn't do it," Plummer said.
"I've never done that before. It was one of those things where I
got caught up in the emotion of a big game, and my emotions got the
best of me."

Plummer wouldn't reveal what the fan said to rile him.

"He didn't say 'Good job,'" Plummer said. "On the road you
just block them out, and when you are at home you don't like it,
but all you can do is try to go out there and reverse it and make
them cheer for you. That's all you can do."

Bowlen defends Shanahan
Owner Pat Bowlen came to the
passionate defense of coach Mike Shanahan on Sunday, sticking with
his stance that the coach will be in Denver as long as he wants.

"He's got four years to go on his contract, and I'm not firing
him," Bowlen said.

The Broncos came into Sunday's game on a two-game losing streak
and Shanahan's future was a prime topic of discussion around the
NFL during the week.

Sharpe criticized the coach for
handpicking Plummer as his quarterback and suggested Shanahan
had too much power as both the team's coach and personnel man.

Later in the week, inaccurate media reports surfaced that
Shanahan had been contacted about the job opening at Notre Dame,
and Bowlen was upset about that, too.

"You don't expect people to make things up," Bowlen said.
"Making things up is, in my mind, outside the rules."

Oakland Raiders: The club and kicker Sebastian Janikowski have agreed on a five-year extension worth $10.5 million, with $2.8 million in guarantees, ESPN.com's John Clayton has learned.

Dallas Cowboys: Harvey R. "Bum" Bright, a staunch Texas A&M
booster best known for buying the Cowboys from founder Clint Murchison and selling them to Jerry Jones, has died. He was 84.

Bright died Saturday at his Highland Park home after a long
illness.

"He was a close friend and a businessman that I respected and
admired tremendously," Jones said in a statement Sunday. "Our
agreement on the purchase of the Dallas Cowboys was finalized with
a few notes on a napkin and a handshake. With Bum, his word meant
everything. He was one of the most honorable men that I have ever
had the privilege of knowing and working with."

Bright was chairman of the Texas A&M Board of Regents in 1982
when he was responsible for hiring Jackie Sherrill as the football
coach and making him the highest-paid coach in college football at
the time. Two years later, he bought the Cowboys, then sold them in
1989.

"When the Cowboys thing came up, he was so worried they were
going elsewhere," said former Texas A&M football coach R.C.
Slocum, a good friend of Bright's. "Buying the Cowboys was a
business deal, but a big part of it was also keeping the Cowboys in
Texas."

Bright toyed with the idea of firing coach Tom Landry, a move
Jones made soon after buying the team.

Bright received a degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M
in 1943.

In 1997, Bright made an unrestricted endowment of $25 million to
Texas A&M. At the time, it was the largest gift of its type the
university had ever received.

"He bled and died maroon," former Cowboys director of player
personnel Gil Brandt said. "The Cowboys were something he did for
the community, but his first love was Texas A&M."

George inactive for first time
Running back Eddie George
was made inactive for the first time in his career Sunday, not
because of injury but because he wasn't needed.

Coach Bill Parcells opted to keep the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner
out against New Orleans because of the emergence of rookie
Julius Jones, the return to health of third-down back
Richie Anderson, and
with ReShard Lee returning kickoffs and Darian Barnes the team's
only fullback.

George did not play the previous game, ending his streak of
consecutive games at 139, but had been active.

His streak of 130 consecutive starts for the Cowboys and
Tennessee Titans ended Sept. 27, when Dallas opened the game with
an empty backfield. His 10,433 career yards rushing rank 16th in
NFL history.

The 31-year-old George has said he doesn't regret coming to
Dallas, even though the season hasn't gone as he had hoped. He
expects to play elsewhere next season.

Cincinnati Bengals: Quarterback Carson Palmer sprained his left knee in Sunday's 35-28 loss to the New
England Patriots, but said he should be OK for the next game.

Palmer walked to the locker room with 3:10 left in the third
quarter after Kyle Larson's 11-yard touchdown run on a fake field
goal play cut the Patriots' lead to 35-21. Jon Kitna replaced him
and went the rest of the way.

"I am really not sure what happened," Palmer said. "I just
felt like I got rolled up on and I felt a little pop."

He was on crutches and said he would get an MRI, but said "I
should be OK to play." The Bengals are home next Sunday against
Buffalo.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Palmer was day to day.

"We have to evaluate it to see if there is fluid," he said.

Palmer completed 18 of 24 passes for 202 yards and two
touchdowns with one interception that Asante Samuel returned for a
touchdown. Palmer has nine touchdown passes in his last three
games. Kitna went 9-for-13 for 126 yards, with a touchdown and an
interception.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.