Off The Wire


Pickett to start for Steelers

Mike Tomlin never had a definitive timeline on when to hand the keys to the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense to Kenny Pickett. But not the Steelers, off to a 1-3 start heading into the most daunting stretch of their season, are there. The rookie quarterback will make his first start Sunday when the Steelers visit Buffalo (3-1), replacing Mitch Trubisky as the starter. "He's a young guy. He's going to grow throughout this process," Tomlin said Tuesday. "But make no mistake about it, we're not grading him on a curve. He's not grading himself on a curve. There's an expectation of quality play and playing to win." Pickett showed flashes after entering the lineup during the second half on Sunday against the New York Jets, becoming the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to run for two touchdowns in his debut.

Broncos sign RB

The Denver Broncos signed veteran running back Latavius Murray off the New Orleans Saints' practice squad as they began preparing for life without dynamic running back Javonte Williams. The Broncs placed Williams on season-ending IR with a torn ACL. They also put outside linebacker Randy Gregory on IR. He needs arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss at least a month. Both were hurt in the Broncos' loss at Las Vegas on Sunday. Murray is a 10th-year pro who has appeared in 128 NFL games with the Raiders, Vikings, Ravens and Saints. He played Sunday in London, where he ran for 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in the Saints' 28-25 loss to Minnesota.


Bowman, Ware out Sunday

Alex Bowman and Cody Shane Ware will miss this weekend's NASCAR Cup Series race because of injuries suffered driving the new Next Gen car. Bowman will miss a second consecutive race with a concussion. Ware said he's skipping Sunday's race on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway because his broken right foot can't handle the demands of a road course race. Kurt Busch has missed 11 consecutive races with a concussion. Noah Gragson will again drive the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. Bowman's absence means he'll be eliminated from the playoffs. The playoff field is cut from 12 to eight after Sunday's race. Bowman crashed two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway. He radioed his team to say it was the hardest hit of his life, appeared unwell on his in-car camera and yet continued to drive another 231 laps. He was diagnosed with his concussion four days later. Ware suffered an impact fracture and torn ligaments in a crash at Texas Motor Speedway. J.J. Yeley will replace Ware in the No. 51 Ford for Rick Ware Racing.


Barzal gets 8-year extension

Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise's top forward under contract for the balance of his prime. The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team did not announce terms. Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18.


Yankees lose reliever

Nnew York Yankees reliever Ron Marinaccio was put on the 15-day injured list Tuesday, another blow to the injury-plagued New York bullpen before the playoffs. Marinaccio has a stress reaction in his right shin. The rookie right-hander threw only 12 pitches before exiting Sunday because of soreness that he has described as a lingering issue. He will miss the AL division series. Manager Aaron Boone said he is hopeful that Marinacco will be able to return for the AL Championship Series if the Yankees advance in the postseason. Marinaccio is 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA in his 40 appearances with 56 strikeouts in 44 innings.

Mariners' Haggerty on IL

The Seattle Mariners lost utilityman Sam Haggerty for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs after suffering a groin injury late in Monday night's loss to Detroit. Seattle placed Haggerty on the 10-day injured list and the severity of the injury could keep him out for a big chunk of October. The Mariners have clinched an AL wild-card spot. Haggerty was injured trying to steal second base in the ninth inning of Seattle's 4-3 loss to Detroit. Haggerty had to be helped off the field and was moving around the Mariners' clubhouse on crutches Tuesday. He was hitting .256 with 5 home runs and 23 RBI.