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Marshall out for finale

Associated Press

Just when they finally patched things up, Brandon Marshall and Josh McDaniels are back to square one, and another reconciliation appears farfetched.

McDaniels announced Friday he’s benching Marshall, Denver’s Pro Bowl wide receiver, for the team’s pivotal season finale against Kansas City on Sunday.

“Our word for the week has been accountability. And we’re looking to put the 45 guys on the field on Sunday that want to play together, want to help us try to win and qualify for the playoffs,” McDaniels said. “… And anybody that showed any indifference to that, we’ll play without them.”

Marshall suggested he couldn’t have played anyway after pulling his right hamstring at practice this week.

In an extraordinary half-hour news conference, McDaniels insinuated on the podium that Marshall was exaggerating the extent of his injury and was unaccountable to the team. The Pro Bowl receiver responded from his locker by noting McDaniels never played in the NFL and hinting he might be getting called out by his coach because the Broncos’ season is unraveling.

Since a sizzling 6-0 start, the Broncos have gone 2-7.

Panthers’ backfield sore

Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams is doubtful and fellow running back Jonathan Stewart questionable for the Panthers’ season finale Sunday against New Orleans.

Williams missed Friday’s workout and hasn’t played or practiced since spraining his left ankle in the first quarter against Minnesota on Dec. 20. Stewart returned to practice Friday after sitting out the past two days to rest his sore left Achilles’ tendon. Both have rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season.

Backup running back Tyrell Sutton missed Friday’s shortened practice and is also doubtful with an ankle injury.

Titans DT Brown out

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Tony Brown will miss Sunday’s finale at Seattle because of a knee problem.

Brown, who has five sacks, originally injured his quadriceps against the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 13. On Friday he said blood from that injury has leaked into the knee area, causing pain and swelling.

“It’s just real stiff and the range of motion is really hard to get,” Brown said. “I had to warm it up, but it’s been stiff on me.”

Brown said he hasn’t been feeling like himself the past few games.

Meanwhile, center Kevin Mawae, recuperating from an elbow injury, practiced Friday and is probable. Cornerback Ryan Mouton was limited in practice and is questionable.

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