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NFL notebook: Broncos LB D.J. Williams back on 53-man roster

| Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, 8:40 p.m.

Linebacker D.J. Williams is on track to make his 2012 debut Sunday against San Diego after the Denver Broncos put him on their 53-man roster Saturday.

Williams returned to practice this week after serving two NFL-mandated suspensions that cost him nine games and about $4 million.

On Friday, coach John Fox said Williams had looked good in practice all week “and he's a guy we would definitely consider to be active for the game.”

Pats TE Hernandez likely to sit again

Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is “unlikely” to play on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, according to an NFL Network report. The Patriots also activated cornerback Aqib Talib, promoted practice squad wide receiver Greg Salas and waived wide receiver Deion Branch.

Smith practices again, status still uncertain

49ers quarterback Alex Smith practiced again Saturday, but his availability is still uncertain for the game against the Bears.

Smith suffered a concussion last week against the Rams.

He still hasn't been cleared to play by doctors, and the 49ers might not get a final verdict on his status until hours before Monday's game.

NFL board paid brain disability victims

An NFL retirement board gave at least $2 million in disability payments to former players in the 1990s and 2000s after concluding that the sport caused their brain injuries, according to ESPN and the PBS television program “Frontline.”

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