Hester, Chicago clinch title

Brett Favre's surprise return ended quickly, and Devin Hester set an NFL record with his 14th career return for a touchdown, leading the Chicago Bears to a 40-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night at snowy TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

After being ruled out on Saturday with a sprained right shoulder, Favre recovered in time to start. He completed five of seven passes for 63 yards with one touchdown and an interception for the Vikings (5-9) before getting knocked out of the game with a head injury in the second quarter.

The Bears (10-4) clinched the NFC North title behind Hester, who returned a punt 64 yards for a TD in the third quarter and also caught a 15-yard TD pass.

The game was played at the University of Minnesota’s outdoor stadium after the Metrodome’s roof collapsed last weekend.


Terrell Owens decided to have knee surgery Monday, ending his revival season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The receiver tore cartilage in his left knee two weeks ago, but kept playing. He aggravated the injury while making a cut on the opening series of a 19-17 win over Cleveland on Sunday, forcing him to hobble off the field.

Owens, 37, flew to Birmingham, Ala., and was examined by Dr. James Andrews.

He tweeted a photo of himself in a hospital gown getting ready for the operation late Monday afternoon.


Rookie quarterback Tim Tebow will start again for the Denver Broncos on Sunday against the Houston Texans. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived backup center Donovan Raiola and promoted Nathan Overbay, a tight end who played at Chehalis High, from the practice squad to the active roster. Eagles rookie safety Nate Allen has a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee and will have season-ending surgery. Allen, drafted with the second-round pick Philadelphia acquired from Washington in the Donovan McNabb trade, is the fourth defensive starter to go down for the season. St. Louis Rams fullback Brit Miller will miss the rest of the season with a right knee injury sustained in Sunday’s loss. The Broncos waived rookie linebacker Kevin Alexander hours after he was arrested on a domestic violence allegation. Browns cornerback Eric Wright will miss Cleveland’s final two games with a left leg injury.