Ben Roethlisberger threw for 233 yards and a trio of scores and Pittsburgh's defense came up with three interceptions of Kyle Orton in a 28-10 triumph over the Denver Broncos. Tyrone Carter, starting in place of Ryan Clark, had a pair of interceptions, returning one 48 yards for a touchdown. Troy Polamalu's pick-off set up Roethlisberger's 25-yard scoring toss to Mike Wallace in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger connected on 21-of-29 passes and was picked off once as the Steelers (6-2) won their fifth straight game leading to a battle against Cincinnati this coming weekend for first place in the AFC North. Orton connected on 23-of-38 passes for 221 yards for the Broncos (6-2), who were coming off a 30-7 blowout loss at Baltimore. Brandon Marshall had 11 receptions for 112 yards, but Denver's running game was nonexistent as the Broncos combined for 27 yards on the ground.
Larry Johnson's often-tumultuous tenure in Kansas City is over, as the Chiefs released the embattled running back on Monday, the day his two-week suspension was scheduled to end. Johnson was suspended for the team's bye week and this past Sunday's game against Jacksonville for conduct detrimental to the team, stemming from comments he made following an October 25 loss to San Diego. On his Twitter account that Sunday night, Johnson posted demeaning comments toward Chiefs head coach Todd Haley and used a gay slur in another post before issuing another anti-gay remark the next day. The former Penn State star had other issues off the field since being selected with the 27th overall pick of the 2003 draft, but also had stellar moments on it -- including a franchise single-season record of 1,789 rushing yards in 2006 when he also set an NFL mark with 416 rushing attempts for the season.
The Cincinnati Bengals placed wide receiver Chris Henry on injured reserve Monday, ending his season. Henry left early in the second quarter of Sunday's 17-7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens due to a fracture of his left forearm. On the first Bengals play of the second period, Henry caught a 20-yard pass from Carson Palmer. Henry's left arm hit the ground hard after taking a big hit from Fabian Washington. The trainers and medical staff put an air cast on Henry's left arm before he was carted off the field. X-rays in the locker room showed the fracture and Henry underwent surgery to correct the problem earlier Monday. The West Virginia product posted 12 receptions for 236 yards and two touchdowns on the year.
The 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame class, which features a star-studded cast of four players and one front office stalwart, was inducted Monday. Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Luc Robitaille were the players inducted, while current New Jersey Devils CEO, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello was inducted in the "builder" category. Yzerman, a 44-year-old who grew up in a suburb of Ottawa, played his entire NHL career for Detroit, leading the Red Wings to three Stanley Cup championships -- including the 2002 Cup, which he won with Hull and Robitaille. Yzerman retired as the sixth all-time leading points scorer in NHL history with 1,755.
Oregon senior running back LeGarrette Blount has been reinstated by head coach Chip Kelly after serving a suspension for punching a Boise State player following the opening game of the season on September 3. Kelly announced the suspension soon after the incident, saying Blount would sit out the remainder of the season, but on October 2 the coach gave an indication that the suspension could be lifted. Blount, who missed eight games but has been practicing with the team, will be eligible to play for the 14th-ranked Ducks when they host Arizona State this Saturday.
Memphis football coach Tommy West has been fired. West was informed of the decision Monday by athletic director R.C. Johnson, who added that the coach will finish the 2009 season. West is in his ninth season as the school's head coach after joining the program as defensive coordinator in 2000. The Tigers are just 2-7 this year after earning bowl bids in five of the previous six seasons. With a record of 49-58, West is the third-winningest coach in Memphis history. The 55-year-old West also coached at Clemson from 1993-98 and posted a mark of 31-28 with those Tigers.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Allen Iverson, said to be unhappy with his role coming off the bench, is reportedly considering retirement. Iverson left the team on Saturday for personal reasons and a Memphis newspaper on Monday cited a source as saying that the former NBA MVP is mulling over the possibility of calling it a career. The Grizzlies gave Iverson permission to fly from Los Angeles to his home in Atlanta to deal with a personal problem. There was no timetable for his return. Iverson, in his first year with the Grizzlies, missed the first three games with a hamstring injury, but has come off the bench in each of his three appearances this season and is averaging 12.3 points with 3.7 assists while playing just over 22 minutes a game.
Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Martin underwent successful wrist surgery Monday, and is expected to miss at least eight weeks. Dr. Robert Szabo performed the procedure at the UC Davis Medical Center to repair a hairline fracture of the navicular bone in his left wrist. In his sixth season out of Western Carolina, Martin is averaging 30.6 points and 5.4 rebounds through five games in 2009-10.
The Boston Red Sox have exercised the club option on catcher Victor Martinez for the 2010 season, but declined to pick up options on both Jason Varitek and shortstop Alex Gonzalez. The Red Sox also agreed to a two-year deal with 43- year-old righty Tim Wakefield rather than pick up his $4 million-per-season team option. No financial terms of the new deal were released, but he will reportedly make $3.5 million this season and $1.5 million next year plus incentives.
Outfielder Johnny Damon and designated hitter Hideki Matsui, keys to the New York Yankees' World Series victory, were among the 31 players to file for free agency Monday. Matsui was named World Series MVP after batting 8-for-13 with three homers and eight runs batted in -- the bulk of which came in a title-clinching Game 6 victory, when he tied a single-game World Series record with six RBI. The 35-year-old was in the final season of a four-year, $52 million contract. Damon, 36, was a catalyst for the Yankees in the World Series, batting 8-for-22 with a .440 on-base percentage and three stolen bases. He was also in the final season of a four-year deal. Others filing Monday were third baseman Pedro Feliz, pitchers Brandon Lyon, Jose Valverde and Chan Ho Park, outfielders Coco Crisp and Gary Sheffield, and shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
The 2009-10 college basketball season tipped off Monday with the defending national champions picking up a triumph against a Hall of Famer making his collegiate coaching debut, while Syracuse's Jim Boeheim reached a victory milestone. Deon Thompson poured in 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, as sixth-ranked North Carolina opened the defense of its national championship with an 88-72 victory over Florida International in Isiah Thomas' head coaching debut with the Golden Panthers. Boeheim opened his 34th season at the helm of the Orange by recording his landmark 800th victory as his team blew out Albany, 75-43, at the Carrier Dome.
Also Monday night, Evan Turner had a triple-double with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists to help 16th-ranked Ohio State roll to a 100-60 season-opening win over Alcorn State. Jerome Randle scored 18 points and 13th-ranked California opened its season by holding off Murray State, 75-70.