NFL: Former Panthers cheerleader takes over control of team

The Carolina Panthers promoted Tina Becker to Chief Operating Officer and gave her control of the team’s day-to-day management amid an investigation into alleged misconduct by owner Jerry Richardson, who will sell the team.

Becker began her career as a cheerleader and over 19 years has served in a variety of management roles, including directing the Panthers’ business and administrative operations, ticketing and sponsorship, and stadium operations.

Injury updates

Oakland Raiders left tackle Donald Penn needs surgery on his right foot and will miss the rest of the season. Penn has started 170 straight games, the longest active streak of any offensive lineman. ...


The Indianapolis Colts put center Ryan Kelly and inside linebacker Jon Bostic on injured reserve, ending their seasons. ...

A smiling Ryan Shazier made a surprise appearance in a suite at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field on Sunday night, less than two weeks after spinal stabilization surgery. Doctors said this week that the Steelers linebacker has begun physical rehabilitation but the team has not released updates on his injury.


The NFL suspended Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis two games for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay receiver Davante Adams. ...

The New York Jets waived receiver Jeremy Kerley following a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancers. ...

The Arizona Cardinals will return to Drew Stanton at quarterback Sunday against the New York Giants. Blaine Gabbert started the past five games.