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Sports briefs for Nov. 21, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Grievance delayed for Dolphins’ Incognito

Richie Incognito’s grievance hearing against the Miami Dolphins was postponed Thursday until NFL investigator Ted Wells finishes his independent investigation, according to ESPN sources.

The Dolphins and the suspended left guard were set to appear before an independent arbitrator who will decide the offensive lineman’s immediate fate.

The hearing now has an undetermined date, according to an ESPN source familiar with process. It is likely to be after the date in which the Dolphins will have to decide whether to reinstate or release Incognito by Dec. 2.

Wells still is interviewing members of the Dolphins organization but is expected to wrap up those interviews by the end of this week.

Incognito arrived at the Dolphins facility around 3 p.m. Thursday.

At the Dolphins’ request, the league is looking into the issues that led up to offensive tackle Jonathan Martin walking away from the team Oct. 28, citing bullying from Incognito and other teammates.

Broncos WR Welker cleared to practice

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker was back at practice Thursday after missing the day before because of his concussion as the team continues to prepare for Sunday night’s matchup against the New England Patriots.

Welker’s status has been unclear since being diagnosed with a concussion that was suffered during Sunday night’s 27-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Welker will still have to be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can play, but being cleared for practice is a positive step.

Quarterback Peyton Manning also was back at practice Thursday after getting his planned day off Wednesday.

Welker spent six productive seasons with the Patriots before leaving the team in free agency earlier this season. He enters Sunday with 61 catches for 648 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns.

LHP Lopez, Giants agree on three-year deal

The San Francisco Giants reached agreement with reliever Javier Lopez on a three-year, $13 million contract, according to a report.

The deal will be finalized next week after Lopez undergoes a physical, reported Thursday.

The 35-year-old left-hander posted a 2-1 record with one save and a 1.83 ERA in 69 games for the Giants in 2013. During the past four seasons with the Giants, Lopez has a 2.26 ERA.

Lopez is the Giants’ latest deal involving a pitcher. Since the end of the season, general manager Brian Sabean also re-signed right-hander Tim Lincecum and signed starting pitcher Tim Hudson.

Packers LB Matthews gets fines reduced

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said Thursday his Week 1 launch into San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which initially cost him a $15,000 fine, was cut in half to $7,500.

Matthews told that he also won the appeal of his Week 10 fine for hitting Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, with appeals officer Matt Birk wiping out a $15,750 fine which he had only asked to be reduced.

“It was funny because he said I think you’re underselling yourself as far as my appeal,” Matthews said. “He’s like, ‘I don’t think you hit him with your head at all.’ I thought I hit him legally, so $15,000 was way too much. And he said, ‘Well, I don’t think you really did anything, so we’re going to take that away.’ So that was a good day.”

Packers coach Mike McCarthy had insisted Matthews was not a dirty player after he was penalized 15 yards for hitting Kaepernick out of bounds.

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