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Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is the Lions’ nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

The award, now in its fourth year, honors the founding owner of the Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

One player from each team is nominated by current NFL players. A panel of former players selects eight finalists, four from each conference.

That panel includes Hall of Famer Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

Those eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot when players vote on Dec. 15. As for the Pro Bowl, a team can’t vote for its own player.

The award will be presented on Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl, at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press hands out its individual league awards.

Personnel dept.

Panthers rookie Curtis Samuel will undergo an MRI after injuring his left ankle in Carolina’s 45-21 win over the Dolphins on Monday night.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said trainers were “not very optimistic” after Samuel hobbled off the field in the third quarter and did not return. Samuel replaced traded Kelvin Benjamin in the starting lineup two weeks ago.

... The Seahawks signed cornerback Byron Maxwell to help make up for the loss of Richard Sherman to a season-ending Achilles tendon injury. Seattle placed Sherman on injured reserve.

Extra points

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended the NFL’s” Thursday Night Football” series during his 105.3 The Fan radio show.

The Cowboys are set to play consecutive Thursday games this month — against the Chargers on Thanksgiving and the following Thursday night, Nov. 30, against Washington.

“Not one shred of statistics show that to be a disadvantage, inordinately challenging physically for the players,” Jones said.

... Panthers offensive lineman Matt Kalil is facing criminal charges of selling alcohol to a minor at his Minnesota pizza restaurant, even though he wasn’t present when the transaction occurred.

A charging document says a 17-year-old server at Kalil’s Pieology Pizza in a Twin Cities suburb sold a beer to a 19-year-old woman Oct. 26.

Kalil, a former Vikings lineman, owns Pieology Pizza franchising rights in Minnesota.

News wire services contributed

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