The NFL tabled a proposal to adjust the playoff seeding system but approved several other rules Wednesday.

The league had discussed allowing wild-card teams to be seeded ahead of the division winner with the third- or fourth-best record, if they had a better record. But the proposal did not go to a formal vote because a show of hands made it clear it didn't have the required 24 "yes" votes to pass. The issue might be raised again in May.

Among the rules that passed:

The force-out rule was eliminated, meaning a player who catches a ball must have both feet (or another body part) in bounds.

Teams winning the coin toss now can defer a decision until the second half.

Instant replay was expanded to include review of field goals.

Snaps untouched by a player in position to receive a hand-to-hand snap will no longer be a false start, and either team may recover and advance the ball.

Incidental grasp and release of the facemask, which was a 5-yard penalty, will no longer be penalized.

  • Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated he wants to meet with ex-New England employee Matt Walsh, who has indicated he has more information about the team taping opponents' signals.

  • Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry was accused of punching an 18-year-old in the face and breaking a car window with a beer bottle in Cincinnati. A warrant was issued for his arrest. Henry, 24, was suspended by the NFL for the first half of last season for violating the league's conduct policy.

  • Linebacker Marques Harris and cornerback Cletis Gordon signed one-year contracts with San Diego. Harris was a restricted free agent and Gordon was an exclusive rights free agent.

  • Minnesota reached agreement in principle with quarterback Gus Frerotte, ESPN.com said.

  • L.J. Smith, the starting tight end for Philadelphia, signed his one-year, $4.522 million franchise tender.

  • Former Tennessee lineman Reed Diehl, 29, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana on allegations he bilked a developer out of $2.5 million. The former Cal star was free on a $75,000 bond.

    NHL

    Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists, and Chicago beat visiting Detroit 6-2. The Red Wings need just one point in their final two games to secure home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

  • Sidney Crosby scored twice for Pittsburgh, which clinched its first division title in 10 years with a 4-2 win over visiting Philadelphia.

  • Zach Parise scored the only goal in a four-round shootout and host New Jersey beat Boston 3-2. The Devils' David Clarkson scored with 5:28 left in regulation to tie it.

  • Chad LaRose scored three goals to lead Carolina past visiting Tampa Bay 6-2, moving the Hurricanes within one victory of the Southeast Division title.

    SOCCER

    The Earthquakes signed former Santa Clara star Eric Denton to a contract. The defender has played 160 games in MLS, starting with D.C. United in 2000. He didn't play last season. San Jose opens its season against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy today in Carson (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.).

  • Liverpool held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of a European Champions League quarterfinal. The teams play Tuesday at Anfield. Also, Fenerbahce beat visiting Chelsea 2-1. On Tuesday, Manchester United won 2-0 at AS Roma and Barcelona won 1-0 at Schalke.

    TENNIS

    Andy Roddick, who'll play Roger Federer tonight, is lone remaining American in the men's draw of the Sony Ericsson Open after James Blake lost in the quarterfinals to Rafael Nadal, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in Key Biscayne, Fla. Jelena Jankovic reached the women's semifinals when Elena Dementieva retired with a back injury trailing 6-3, 3-1, and Vera Zvonareva beat Dinara Safina 7-5, 6-4.

  • Patrick McEnroe received a three-year contract extension as the U.S. Davis Cup coach. Last year, he led the Americans to their first title since 1995. McEnroe also was hired to oversee player development for the USTA.

    SWIMMING

    Liam Tancock set a world record in the 50-meter backstroke at the British championships in Sheffield. He finished in 24.47 seconds in the non-Olympic event.

    MOTOR SPORTS

    Suzuki's Mat Mladin dominated testing for the second straight day at the 12-turn, 2.22-mile Infineon Raceway. The AMA Superbike Showdown is May 16-18 at the Sonoma track.