NFL rosters could expand to 55

The NFL Competition Committee will consider expanding in-season rosters from 53 players to 55, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

The report said that opposition to larger rosters previously came from the fact that some teams were having trouble staying under a salary cap. In recent years, however, the salary cap has been increasing more quickly and, coupled with the impact of the rookie wage scale on the market for veterans, there is enough extra cash available to pay two more players per team.

“We also reviewed the @NFL roster system — an auxiliary list, expansion of the game roster, and how we handle Thursday night rosters,” Troy Vincent, vice president of football operations for the league, tweeted Saturday after the Competition Committee met in Naples, Fla.

One potential adjustment would be the removal of the inactive list for Thursday Night Football. If that happens, teams would dress all 53 players on Thursday night games, with no players on the inactive list.

Duquesne player dies of self-inflicted gunshot

Chris Johnson, a Duquesne football player who had previously played at Florida, died on Friday as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the medical examiner, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday.

Johnson, 22, had completed his senior season in 2014 at Duquesne, an FCS school. He had 104 tackles and two interceptions in two seasons at Duquesne.

“Everyone associated with the Duquesne football program is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Chris,” Duquesne head coach Jerry Schmitt said in a statement. “Chris was a passionate football player who was also a great teammate, who was loved by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family at this difficult time.”

Johnson transferred to Duquesne from Florida in 2013. He had been a special-teams player with the Gators.

Marchand, Bergeron spark Bruins

Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each scored his 18th goal to remain tied for the team lead and added an assist as Boston skated to its third win in four contests, 4-1 over the Coyotes Saturday in Boston.

Milan Lucic and captain Zdeno Chara also scored and set up a tally for the Bruins, who have won six in a row versus Arizona and remained four points ahead of Florida for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Reilly Smith notched two assists and Tuukka Rask finished with 31 saves in his return from a one-game absence due to an illness.

Martin Erat tallied for the reeling Coyotes, who have dropped nine in a row — one shy of the franchise-record 10-game skid set from Feb. 6-25, 1994 while playing in Winnipeg. Mike Smith yielded four goals on 20 shots before being relieved by Louis Domingue, who stopped all 14 shots he faced.

Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Kevin Garnett continues to show appreciation to Minnesota Timberwolves fans’ overwhelming reception to his return home.

Garnett has purchased 1,000 tickets to Minnesota’s next home game Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers to give to the fans for free.

The tickets courtesy of the 15-time All-Star power forward will be available on the team’s website beginning at 9 a.m. Monday. The first 500 fans to claim the tickets will get a pair of seats.

Garnett was acquired by the Timberwolves at the trade deadline from the Brooklyn Nets. In his return home last Wednesday night, Garnett had five points and eight rebounds as the Timberwolves beat the Washington Wizards 97-77 before a packed house of 19,856 — the largest crowd at Target Center all season. Lines stretched out of the arena two hours before the game as fans waited to catch a glimpse of the franchise’s career leader in every major statistical category.