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Sports briefs for Oct. 17, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Agent: Pats, Gronkowski on same page

Rob Gronkowski is on the same page with the New England Patriots, according to his agent, despite recent reports to the contrary.

Gronkowski was cleared to practice but not yet given the green light to participate in a regular-season games. His forearm, operated on four times, is the issue.

“I don’t understand why this story has gotten so much traction,” agent Drew Rosenhaus told 560 AM. “There are dozens of players around the NFL who aren’t playing because they are injured and coming back from surgery. And in Rob’s case, this is really straight forward. Up to this point he hasn’t been cleared to play in a game. He has not been cleared by Dr. (James J.) Andrews, who is the supervising doctor.”

Gronkowski, who also had offseason back surgery, is not limited in practice. Multiple reports last week said Gronkowski’s unwillingness to play were causing a rift in the locker room. Tom Brady said Monday there was no issue with Gronkowski and other players and the team knows he’ll play “when he’s ready.”

Rosenhaus said the matter shouldn’t be complicated.

Crew chief Parrott suspended indefinitely

Todd Parrott, the crew chief for the Sprint Cup driver Aric Almirola, was suspended indefinitely Thursday for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.

Parrott’s team, Richard Petty Motorsports, supported the decision. No other details of the suspension were provided.

“We have an expectation of all RPM employees to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism and within the competitive confines as set forth by NASCAR,” the team said in a statement.

Sammy Johns, Petty Motorsports’ vice president of competition, will serve as crew chief for Almirola’s No. 43 team this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and will continue in that role on an interim basis.

Vick: ‘I’m not playing this week’

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick beat coach Chip Kelly to the punch Thursday by confirming that he will not play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Although Vick was not expected to be ready because of a hamstring injury, Kelly said before practice Thursday that he had not ruled out Vick.

Vick ended the drama later in the day.

“No, I’m not playing this week,” he said. “Not this week.”

Vick pulled a hamstring Oct. 6 game against the New York Giants. He was activated for last Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but did not play.

Nick Foles, who was named NFC offensive player of the week, will start for the second straight week.

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan retiring

The Texas Rangers announced Thursday that CEO Nolan Ryan is retiring, effective Oct. 31.

Ryan, a Hall-of-Fame pitcher, joined the Rangers as president in 2008 and became CEO in 2011.

During Ryan’s six seasons as a Rangers executive, the club went to the World Series twice (2010 and ’11) and had the fifth-highest winning percentage (.551) in the major leagues. Texas has won at least 87 games in each of the last five years, including four straight 90-win seasons.

“This is the right time for me to step down from my role of overseeing the Rangers organization,” Ryan said in a statement.

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