PHILADELPHIA — Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel missed a second consecutive practice Thursday with a hamstring injury.
Samuel is in danger of missing the Eagles' game against the Cowboys on Saturday, a game the Eagles could need to win to keep alive their slim playoff hopes.
If the Jets beat the Giants in an early game Saturday, Philadelphia would stay alive in the division race with a win in Dallas.
Samuel hurt his hamstring in the Eagles-Jets game last Sunday, and coach Andy Reid said Samuel aggravated it at practice Tuesday. He hasn't practiced since.
"Asante is still a little sore, and we'll just see how he does here over the next couple days," Reid said. "He jogged a little bit (Tuesday) and got sore ... so we just backed off him. We're trying to rehab it and see how it goes from there."
Samuel has three interceptions this year and 45 in his career, fourth among active players.
Reid said Samuel is experienced enough that he'd be able to play Saturday without practicing, as long as his hamstring is healthy.
"He knows what we're doing, it's just a matter of getting the soreness out of there to where he feels comfortable," he said. "Nobody wants to play more than he does, so you know he's going to do everything possible to get himself ready to go."
Reid said if Samuel is unable to play Saturday, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would start at left cornerback opposite Nnamdi Asomugha.
Rodgers-Cromartie, a Pro Bowl cornerback with the Cardinals, made his only start as an Eagle against the Bills in October, when the Eagles opened in a three-cornerback alignment.
Like Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie is in his first year in Philly and has gradually grown more comfortable playing a new role with a new team.
Rodgers-Cromartie missed three games with a high ankle sprain before returning for the Eagles' wins the last two weeks over the Dolphins and Jets.
"He was a good player before he came here this year, so that was never in question," Asomugha said. "But like everything else, learning this new system, it wasn't going to be a quick turnaround for him, I think.
"And when you come back from injury, then the confidence has to play a part and you have to start getting that back and be sure of yourself. And we're starting to see that a lot more from him, that he's putting the injury behind him and he's playing better through it."
The Eagles (6-8) will win the NFC East with victories over the Cowboys and Redskins combined with a Giants loss to the Jets on Saturday and a Giants win over the Cowboys on Jan. 1.
A win over the Cowboys would give them their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Reid said that recent injuries to all three of the Eagles' Pro Bowl cornerbacks demonstrate why he believed it was important to take the unusual step of carrying all three this year.
"It's tough for those guys to get through the season, at least the history of it has been that way here," Reid said. "That position (and) your D-line, you can't have enough of those guys, and we're fortunate to have the guys we have at that spot."
Defensive tackle Trevor Laws was the only other Eagle who wasn't a full participant at practice. Laws, who has knee tendinitis, was limited. -- (AP)
PHILADELPHIA — Transportation officials say an Amtrak train fatally struck a pedestrian on the tracks between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del.
Amtrak spokeswoman Danelle Hunter says a southbound Acela train hit a trespasser around 12:20 p.m. Thursday in the Philadelphia suburb of Sharon Hill.
The train was traveling from Boston to Washington. Hunter says there are no reported injuries to the 162 train passengers or crew members.
Heather Redfern, a spokeswoman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, says commuter rail service on the Wilmington/Newark line was restored around 2:30 p.m. -- (AP)
Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million to resolve allegations that its Countrywide unit engaged in a widespread pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers on home loans.
The settlement with the U.S. Justice Department was filed Wednesday with the Central District court of California and is subject to court approval. The DOJ says it's the largest settlement in history over residential fair lending practices.
According to the DOJ's complaint, Countrywide charged over 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher fees and interest rates than non-Hispanic white borrowers with a similar credit profile. The complaint says that these borrowers were charged higher fees and rates because of their race or national origin rather than any other objective criteria.
"These institutions should make judgments based on applicants' creditworthiness, not on the color of their skin," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "With today's settlement, the federal government will ensure that the more than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers who were discriminated against by Countrywide will be entitled to compensation."
Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp. bought the nation's largest subprime lender, Countrywide Financial Corp., in 2008.
Dan Frahm, a Bank of America spokesman, said in a statement that the bank does not practice lending based on race.
"We discontinued Countrywide products and practices that were not in keeping with our commitment and will continue to resolve and put behind us the remaining Countrywide issues," Frahm said.
The United States' complaint says that Countrywide was aware that the fees and interest rates that its loan officers were charging discriminated against African-American and Hispanic borrowers, but failed to impose meaningful limits or guidelines to stop it.
By steering borrowers into subprime loans from 2004 to 2007, the complaint alleges, Countrywide harmed those qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers. Subprime loans generally carried costlier terms, such as prepayment penalties and significantly higher adjustable interest rates that increased suddenly after two or three years, making the payments unaffordable and leaving the borrowers at a much higher risk of foreclosure.
"Countrywide's actions contributed to the housing crisis, hurt entire communities, and denied families access to the American dream," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
The settlement amount will be used to compensate victims of Countrywide's discriminatory mortgage loans from 2004 through 2007, when Countrywide originated millions of residential mortgage loans as the nation's largest single-family mortgage lenders.
PHILADELPHIA — Jrue Holiday made a strong statement that he's ready for those tense moments in the fourth quarter when the NBA regular season begins this weekend.
The second-year Philadelphia 76ers guard scored 24 points, including 15 in the last 5:35, to propel the Sixers to a 101-94 preseason victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
"Tonight was my turn," Holiday said. "The first game we played well, the second game we didn't play so well. It was just a preseason game, but I felt really comfortable. My first year, in games like this, I didn't see the ball. It was good my teammates and coaches trust me with the ball."
Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young each scored 13 for the Sixers.
JaVale McGee led Washington with 20 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, and Jordan Crawford added 18. John Wall finished with 17 and did not play in the fourth.
"I'm really happy that we played that team tonight," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "We had a nice finish, but there were some disturbing things that I knew were coming.
"We had only 11 deflections defensively, and we want to get 35 a night. That showed the activity of our defense, though we did pick up in the second half. We gave them 21 offensive rebounds, and we turned it over 20 times. The three things we said coming in is to be active defensively, defensive rebounds and take care of the ball. We were able to get away with it tonight and win, but our guys know we have to play much better."
The Wizards took an 88-87 lead with 2:45 to play on a pair of free throws by McGee. Holiday then hit two 3-pointers, sandwiched around a hook shot by Nikola Vucevic, to give the Sixers a 95-88 edge with 1:09 left. The fourth quarter featured nine lead changes.
Washington took a 52-47 lead into halftime after Philadelphia's Nikola Vucevic made a 3 at the buzzer.
The Wizards had a 10-point advantage late in the half, behind Wall's 13 points.
Washington coach Flip Saunders saw a much better effort than he did last Friday against Philadelphia, which routed the Wizards 103-78 and led by as many as 40 in that game.
"Yes, we played a lot better," Saunders said. "We played the younger guys over the last 6, 7 minutes to see what they could do. Overall, I was pleased. We were definitely solid most of the night. Our main group played well together. I like the way our guys were looking for each other." -- (AP)
PHILADELPHIA — A veteran sportswriter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News was accused in a newspaper report Tuesday of molesting three girls and a boy in the 1970s, including his niece, who is now a prosecutor.
Authorities said no criminal charges would be pursued against Bill Conlin because the allegations of abuse happened too long ago.
Conlin, a Hall of Fame baseball writer and author, retired just ahead of the story's publication online by The Philadelphia Inquirer, his former editor said. Conlin's lawyer said his client would not comment about the story (http://bit.ly/sow9jx ) but would fight the claims.
"Mr. Conlin is obviously floored by these allegations which supposedly happened 40 years ago. He's engaged me to do everything possible to bring the facts forward to vindicate his name," said attorney George Bochetto.
The newspaper reported that the four accusers claim Conlin groped and fondled them in the 1970s, when they were ages 7 to 12.
Kelley Blanchet, a niece of Conlin's who is now a prosecutor in Atlantic City, N.J., and others told the newspaper they were speaking out in part because of the child sex abuse allegations being faced by Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State University assistant football coach. Like in the Sandusky case, people aware of the allegations involving Conlin years ago did not go to police, the newspaper said.
"This is a tragedy," Blanchet said. "People have kept his secret. It's not just the victims, it's the victims' families. There were so many people who knew about this and did nothing."
Prosecutors in Gloucester County, N.J., took videotaped statements from the four accusers last year but said no charges would be pursued because assaults that occurred before 1996 fall under the statute of limitations. The alleged victims said they also came forward to highlight the shortcomings of those time limits.
Conlin had worked at the newspaper for more than four decades, starting in 1965 and becoming the beat writer for the Phillies the next year. He held that job for 21 years and became a columnist in 1987. He also was a commentator on the ESPN program "The Sports Reporters" and wrote two baseball-related books, the "Rutledge Book of Baseball" and "Batting Cleanup, Bill Conlin."
He received the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award presented at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and is honored in the hall's "Scribes and Mikemen" exhibit. The Baseball Writers' Association of America said the allegations would not affect his award.
Daily News editor Larry Platt, speaking at a news conference, said he accepted Conlin's offer to retire by phone on Tuesday afternoon. Platt would only characterize the conversation as "painful."
Platt said he didn't know about the allegations until Tuesday. He described the emotions in the newsroom as "overwhelmingly a sense of shock, a sense of outrage, a sense of sadness."
The Daily News and Inquirer are owned by the same company, Philadelphia Media Network, and operate out of the same building downtown but compete on stories. Inquirer editor Stan Wischnowski said at the news conference the story had been in the works for about a month.
In one recent column titled "Tough Guys Are Talking About Sandusky," Conlin questioned people who say they would have intervened had they witnessed child sex abuse.
"Everybody says he will do the right thing, get involved, put his own ass on the line before or after the fact. But the moment itself has a cruel way of suspending our fearless intentions," he wrote. -- (AP)