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Rodgers plans to practice Wednesday for Packers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plans to practice Wednesday, and he said he feels closer to being ready to return after missing the last six games.

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However, he didn’t sound optimistic his next scan this week will reveal significant changes to the status of his injured collarbone.

“I think you can probably guess,” Rodgers said on his weekly ESPN radio show Tuesday. “I have an idea what it’s going to look like based on the previous one, the amount of days we have between scans, project that forward to a similar amount of days and have a pretty good idea and provide over-radiation.”

Even though Rodgers will be on the practice field Wednesday, Matt Flynn will likely continue to see the bulk of the starter reps.

Rodgers has been sidelined since suffering a fractured collarbone on his non-throwing left side early in the Nov. 4 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Saints cut kicker Hartley

Two days after Garrett Hartley missed two field-goal attempts, the New Orleans Saints waived the kicker Tuesday.

According to Fox Sports, Shayne Graham will be signed as Hartley’s replacement.

In New Orleans’ 27-16 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, Hartley had a 36-yard field-goal attempt blocked, and he missed a 26-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Hartley made a 45-yard field goal in the game, leaving him 22-for-30 on the season.

Hartley, 27, spent five seasons in New Orleans, connecting on 82 of 101 field-goal attempts and 176 of 177 extra points.

Graham, 36, would be entering his 13th NFL season if he joins the Saints. He made 31 of 38 field-goal attempts for the Houston Texans last year.

Reports: Orioles set to sign former Twin Balfour

After dealing their closer to Oakland, the Baltimore Orioles are set to add the Athletics’ former closer.

Right-hander Grant Balfour agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday. The deal was not finalized, as Balfour still must pass a physical exam.

On Dec. 2, Baltimore dealt closer Jim Johnson to Oakland in exchange for infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named, which became catcher David Freitas. The Orioles made the move to avoid an arbitration hearing with Johnson, who was expected to land a salary in excess of $10 million after leading the American League in saves each of the past two years.

Balfour, a 35-year-old Australian, became a closer for the first time in 2012, when he saved 24 games for Oakland. During an All-Star season in 2013, he converted 38 of 41 save chances while going 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 65 relief appearances.

Balfour broke into the majors with the Minnesota Twins in 2001. 

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