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Bucs Bench QB Freeman, Turn to Rookie

Tampa, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers benched quarterback Josh Freeman and replaced him with rookie Mike Glennon.

The move Wednesday came two days after coach Greg Schiano insisted Freeman remained the starter because he gave the team the best chance to win.

The coach changed his mind after meeting Tuesday with general manager Mark Dominik and later discussed the switch with ownership.

“This is a performance-based decision,” Schiano said Wednesday. “We’re not getting the job done on the field.”

The winless Bucs have lost their first three games, two on field goals in the closing seconds. Freeman has completed just 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Dating to last season, they’ve dropped eight and nine games, and the offense hasn’t played well throughout the stretch.

Glennon was drafted in the third round out of North Carolina State, where he spent part of his college career as a backup to Russell Wilson. He will make his first pro start Sunday at home against Arizona.

Raiders May Make QB Change

Alameda, Calif. — Matt Flynn might finally get another chance to start a game at quarterback in the NFL.

After being beaten out for starting gigs the past two preseasons in Seattle and Oakland, Flynn could start this week for the Raiders with Terrelle Pryor recovering from a concussion.

Flynn got his first extensive work with the first team at practice on Wednesday since falling behind Pryor on the depth chart in training camp and could start Sunday against Washington.

Pryor has not been cleared to return to practice yet after getting hurt late in Monday night’s loss in Denver when he was knocked out on a helmet-to-helmet hit by linebacker Wesley Woodyard on a quarterback draw.

Cowboys’ Bryant Fined

Irving, Texas — Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was fined $7,875 by the NFL for a throat-slashing gesture that resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty last week against St. Louis.

Bryant made the gesture while celebrating a 2-yard touchdown catch from Tony Romo for the first Dallas score in a 31-7 victory against the Rams on Sunday.

The receiver ran to the middle of the end zone after the catch and raised his arms to make an “X” before the slashing gesture.

Coach Jason Garrett said Bryant ran directly to him after the penalty was called and apologized.

Ex-Player Commits Suicide

Marietta, Ga. — Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver committed suicide, A medical examiner near Atlanta said.

Cobb County investigators said the 29-year-old Oliver was found dead Tuesday night at his home in Marietta, about 20 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.

Police said Oliver died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In a statement, Chargers officials said Oliver was a 2007 fourth-round supplemental draft pick from the University of Georgia. Oliver was academically ineligible his senior year and was unable to return to Georgia’s squad.

Oliver played for the Chargers from 2007 to 2011.

Oliver’s best season was 2010, when he started eight times and recorded 62 tackles.

Oliver was released by the New Orleans Saints after training camp in 2011, and returned to San Diego that season.