Selected Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was named Wednesday to appear on the cover of Madden NFL ’13, the popular video football game, in a vote by fans. Johnson beat out Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, by garnering 52 percent of the more than 651,000 votes in the competition between the playmakers.

Released The Green Bay Packers released Nick Collins, citing concerns about the veteran safety’s ability to safely continue his career after a significant neck injury. Collins hurt his neck while trying to make a tackle in the Packers’ Sept. 18 victory at Carolina, an injury that ended his season and required surgery. Collins has not decided whether he will attempt to play for another team. He had 21 career interceptions with the Packers, returning four for touchdowns.

Agreed Coach Kermit Davis agreed to a five-year contract extension with Middle Tennessee that runs through the 2016-17 season. Davis, a former Idaho coach, took the Blue Raiders to a school-record 27 wins this season. The Blue Raiders lost to Minnesota in the National Invitation Tournament in the quarterfinals after a big win at Tennessee.

Convicted Former Bengals linebacker Nate Webster was convicted of sex-related charges involving the teenage daughter of a former assistant coach for the Cincinnati team. A jury in Cincinnati found Webster, 34, guilty of four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Prosecutors say Webster had sexual contact with the girl in 2009 when she was 15 and threatened to harm her if she told anyone.

Signed All-Star Candace Parker plans to stay with the new-look Los Angeles Sparks. The WNBA team announced it signed a multiyear contract extension with the versatile forward, who has been bothered by injuries in her professional career. She averaged 18.5 points and 8.6 rebounds in 17 games last season with L.A. before missing 15 games because of a right knee injury.


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