It's preliminary, but Rice and Smith look bound for Canton

Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith headline the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for induction next year in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The list released Saturday includes 131 players, coaches and contributors.

Hall of Fame selectors will chose 25 semifinalists by Nov. 27, and 15 finalists by Jan. 7.

Voting for induction to the Canton, Ohio, shrine will take place Feb. 6, the day before the Super Bowl.

Other modern-era nominees include Tim Brown, Herschel Walker, Cris Carter, Andre Reed and Sterling Sharp. Former commissioner Paul Tagliabue is also on the list.

They join two previously announced senior nominees, former Detroit Lions cornerback Dick LeBeau and former Denver Broncos running back Floyd Little.

Season over for Chargers’ DT

The San Diego Chargers have placed defensive tackle Jamal Williams on injured reserve with a triceps injury, meaning he’ll miss the rest of the season.

It’s a big loss for the Chargers. Although the 12-year veteran has a history of knee injuries, he’s still been a force in the middle, particularly against the run.

Williams’ backup is Ogemdi Nwagbuo, who spent five weeks on San Diego’s practice squad last year. To fill Williams’ roster spot, defensive end Andre Coleman was signed from the practice squad.

The Chargers already are without running back LaDainian Tomlinson and center Nick Hardwick for today’s home opener against Baltimore. Both have sprained ankles. Also, backup defensive end Travis Johnson is out with a groin injury.

Extra points

Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot has been downgraded to questionable for Washington’s game against the St. Louis Rams today. Smoot first appeared on the injury report Friday as probable with a rib injury. The Redskins haven’t said how the injury occurred. Smoot is Washington’s third cornerback, used primarily in nickel packages with starters DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers. … The New England Patriots have downgraded three players for today’s game against the New York Jets. Offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who had a back injury, won’t be playing in the game at the Meadowlands. Wideout Matt Slater, who injured his elbow, and cornerback Terrence Wheatley, who has a knee injury, also are out.