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Sept. 21, 2011 at 11:00 PM
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NFL warns teams on faking injuries

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The NFL is warning teams against faking injuries as a tactic to slow down an opponent's offense, a leaked memo indicated Wednesday.

The memo, obtained and published by ESPN, was sent to NFL team presidents, general managers, head coaches and public relations executives. It threatened them with stiff penalties including fines, suspensions or forfeiture of draft picks for faking injuries.

The subject came up after New York Giants safety Deon Grant was accused by the St. Louis Rams of faking an injury as the Rams were pushing down the field in a no-huddle offense during the first quarter of Monday's 28-16 Rams loss.

Rams head Coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the contest he had notified the NFL he believed the Giants had faked an injury.

Spagnuolo said the NFL needed to intervene because game referees are powerless to stop such illegal tactics.

"They can't make the decision if somebody is hurt or not hurt," the Rams' coach said. "You just don't know that."

Tour Championship begins Thursday

ATLANTA, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The most lucrative prize in golf will be at stake beginning Thursday with the playing of first round of the Tour Championship.

There are 30 players left to compete for FedEx Cup, the trophy that goes to the winner of the PGA Tour's yearlong points race. In addition to the hardware, the cup winner will receive $10 million.

The points will be rearranged for this week's tournament so any of the first five on the list can win the FedEx Cup with a victory at the Tour Championship -- which for the eighth consecutive year and for the 11th time overall will be held at the East Lake Golf Club near downtown Atlanta.

The five points leaders through the first three playoff tournaments are Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar. All 30 players have a mathematical chance to win the $10 million.

Jim Furyk went into the Tour Championship in 12th place on the points list last year and wound up winning the tournament and the FedEx Cup as well. Matt Kuchar, who led the points going into the event last year, wound up in a tie for 25th and dropped to second behind Furyk in the overall race.

Dustin Johnson, is second on the points list -- just as he was going into the final event in 2010, when he tied for 22nd in the Tour Championship and fell to fifth in the FedEx Cup competition.

Surprises, therefore, can take place. That gives hope to Brandt Snedeker, Nick Watney, Chez Reavie, John Senden, Jason Day, Gary Woodland and Steve Stricker -- who take up the sixth through 12th spots on the points list. Furyk failed to climb into the top 30 last week at the BMW Championship and will not have a chance to defend his title.

The first ball of the tournament will be struck at 11:35 a.m. EDT by Bo Van Pelt, who is last in points among those playing this week. Simpson and Johnson will make up the final first-round pairing at 1:55 p.m.

A's hand skipper Melvin 3-year contract

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Interim Oakland Athletics Manager Bob Melvin has been given the job on a full-time basis with a three-year deal, the team announced Wednesday.

The A's said Melvin, who replaced Bob Geren June 9 when the team was suffering through a nine-game skid, has skippered the last-place squad to a 42-49 mark since then.

A native of nearby Palo Alto, Calif., Melvin has compiled a 535-557 record in eight seasons as manager for Oakland, the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Melvin, 49, guided the Diamondbacks to the National League West title in 2007, after which he was named the NL Manager of the Year. But he was fired in May 2009 after the D-backs began the season 12-17.

Chiefs place Jamaal Charles on IR

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, out with a knee injury, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, formally ending his season.

Charles was injured Sunday in Kansas City's game against Detroit. While Coach Todd Haley didn't say what the injury was, he did say Charles would be out for the year. Charles reportedly suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Charles has started 19 of the 49 games he's played for the Chiefs, rushing for 3,027 yards and 12 touchdowns since he was taken in the third round of the 2008 draft. Last season he rushed for 1,467 yards, second most in the NFL, and was selected for the Pro Bowl.

Kansas City promoted wide receiver Jeremy Horne from the practice squad to fill Charles's place on the active roster. Horne played in three games for the Chiefs last season as a rookie free agent.

Kansas City (0-2) is at San Diego (1-1) Sunday for its next game.

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