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NFL notebook: Players to return from suspension

Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Cushing and Santonio Holmes are among seven players now eligible after serving four-game NFL suspensions.

Two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Roethlisberger returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday. He was suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Cushing, the 2009 defensive rookie of the year, returns to the Houston Texans. Cushing was suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, as were Tennessee Titans linebacker Gerald McRath and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Robert James.

Holmes, a receiver with the New York Jets, Bills tight end Shawn Nelson and Broncos running back LenDale White were sidelined for substance abuse. White is on injured reserve and out for the season.

Vick has cartilage injury

Michael Vick has a rib cartilage injury, and his status is uncertain for Philadelphia’s next game at San Francisco.

Eagles coach Andy Reid says Vick doesn’t have any broken bones, though the cartilage between his second and third rib might be cracked.

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith sounded optimistic that quarterback Jay Cutler will be back soon from his concussion, although he would not say just how severe the injury is.

Smith said Cutler was back at the practice facility and was “feeling OK” after sitting out the second half of a 17-3 loss the previous night against the New York Giants. Even so, his status for this week’s game against Carolina is in question.

The NFL fined Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil $40,000 for his obscene gesture at game officials.

The league said Cecil violated a rule that prohibits use of abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures to officials.

Television cameras caught Cecil using his right hand to make the gesture when officials flagged his defense for a neutral zone infraction during the second quarter Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has been told by the NFL to rein in his calf-roping act every time he gets a sack. … Green Bay rookie safety Morgan Burnett will miss the rest of the season after tearing an ACL. … Tennessee rookie defensive end Derrick Morgan tore his left ACL and will miss the rest of the season. … San Diego Chargers strong safety Steve Gregory was suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers.