Tuesday’s NFL: Patriots pick up ex-Steeler Harrison

Associated Press

Former Pittsburgh Steelers star linebacker James Harrison signed with the Patriots.

The Patriots announced the move Tuesday, three days after Harrison’s unceremonious departure from Pittsburgh.

Harrison, 39, posted a photo of himself with 40-year-old quarterback Tom Brady in New England’s locker room on his Instagram account, writing that he finally has a teammate “that’s older than me!”

Harrison visited the Patriots after clearing waviers and becoming a free agent following his release by Pittsburgh.

To make room on their roster, the Patriots released linebacker Trevor Reilly.

Cousins to start at Giants

Washington coach Jay Gruden said that quarterback Kirk Cousins would start Sunday’s season finale at the Giants despite the potential of an injury and no postseason ramifications involved.

“There’s no thought to that at all,” Gruden said on a conference call two days after his team’s 27-11 win over the Broncos.

“Kirk wants to finish out the season. Got to get us back to 8-8. I think finishing on a three-game winning streak is important to a lot of people here. Finishing strong is what we’ve been preaching here the last 2 to 3 weeks.”

Byrd out for season

The Panthers say starting wide receiver Damiere Byrd will miss the remainder of the season because of a lower leg injury. He has been placed on injured reserve.

Byrd was injured in Carolina’s 22-19 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Earlier in the game Byrd had a key 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown — the longest TD in franchise history — to give Carolina the lead.

Personnel dept.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said coach Jason Garrett will return for an eighth full season after Dallas missed the playoffs in a year marred by the six-game suspension of star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

... The Vikings have signed long snapper Jeff Overbaugh and placed guard Nick Easton on injured reserve.

... Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says a report that he and the franchise have agreed to part ways after this season is untrue, labeling it “fake news.” An article in Pro Football Weekly cited “multiple sources” as saying the split would come next week at the end of the season.

... The Broncos will start Paxton Lynch in their season finale against the Chiefs.