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Tomlinson could be a game away from retirement; Jets' running back has uncertain future

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- This could be the end for LaDainian Tomlinson.

The Jets running back is a free agent after this season, and he acknowledged that the regular-season finale Sunday at Miami could be the last game of his career if New York does not make the playoffs.

"There's definitely the thought that this possibly could be because you never know how things shake out," Tomlinson said Thursday. "For me, it just depends on the situation. I've said that before. I would love to keep playing, but if the situation is not right, then I won't. And this possibly could be my last game."

Tomlinson signed a two-year deal with the Jets in 2010 after nine record-breaking seasons with the San Diego Chargers. When asked if he would hypothetically accept the veterans' minimum salary to return to the Jets, Tomlinson smiled and made it clear he would want more.

"I've got kids, man," he said with a laugh. "I mean, I don't know. It would be hard for me to do that. It's never been about the money for me. It really hasn't. But at some point, you have to close that chapter if it just doesn't line up. So I'm just going to wait and see what happens."

That means the 32-year-old Tomlinson would be willing to play elsewhere in 2012, but will talk to his family and agent in the offseason before deciding on what he wants to do.

"I'm open to anything," he said. "It doesn't have to be here. It could be another place. I'm just open to playing football."

Tomlinson would want to play only for a team that has a shot at a championship -- the reason he chose Rex Ryan and the Jets nearly two years ago.

"Speaking off the top of my head, obviously, I've played this game a long time," he said. "I don't want to go to someone that's going to lose every week. That's not going to be fun."

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McCoy feels better

BEREA, Ohio -- Colt McCoy didn't want to relive any of what happened to him three weeks ago.

It's not clear if he remembers that night in Pittsburgh.

The Browns' young quarterback wants to move on from a concussion that ended his season, spawned a controversy and prompted the NFL to do more to treat injured players.

Sporting a newly grown beard, McCoy said Thursday that he's "feeling better" and making progress from the concussion he sustained on Dec. 8 from a helmet-to-helmet hit delivered by Steelers linebacker James Harrison. McCoy, who has not been medically cleared to practice since he was blasted by Harrison, refused to answer questions about what he recalls from the hit or what transpired in its aftermath.

McCoy, though, did praise Cleveland's medical staff for its handling of his concussion despite the team not testing him for a head injury on the sideline and sending him back in the game after sitting out just two plays.

"Our medical staff does an outstanding job and that should never be in question," said McCoy, speaking for the first time since he was diagnosed with the concussion.

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Around the league

*Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he'll be on the field Sunday for Pittsburgh's regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns as long as he can deal with the pain of his sprained left ankle. Roethlisberger, who sat out last Sunday's win over St. Louis to rest his ankle, practiced again Thursday. If Roethlisberger can't play, Charlie Batch is available.

*Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has scheduled surgery to repair his left knee. Dr. James Andrews will perform the operation today in Alabama, six days after Peterson tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee while being tackled in a game against the Washington Redskins

*The Bengals are dropping the prices of upper-deck tickets for 2012, trying to fill Paul Brown Stadium on a regular basis. Cincinnati had to offer two-for-one tickets to sell out its final game Sunday against Baltimore. A win by the Bengals (9-6) would get them in the playoffs for only the third time in the past 21 years. The Bengals have sold out only two games at 65,500-seat Paul Brown this season.

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