Joe Nedney will stick to kicking instead of comedy.

The Tennessee Titans' place kicker has been apologizing for his attempt at humor when he said he might take up acting after drawing a penalty that let him atone for a miss with a game-winning field goal on Saturday against Pittsburgh.

"I've been trying to extinguish fires all day," Nedney said yesterday.

"I know there's a lot of people in Pittsburgh right now who are flaming mad and people around the nation that are flaming mad, and I'm sure the comment I made afterward left a really bad taste in everybody's mouth. I sincerely apologize for doing that, but it was only meant as a joke."

Nedney went home feeling like a hero on Saturday night after his kick in overtime gave the Titans a 34-31 victory over the Steelers and a berth in the AFC championship game.

When he woke up Sunday morning, he learned about the firestorm he unintentionally created.

Without a Trace?

Oakland Raiders defensive end Trace Armstrong had an MRI exam on his injured right groin, and his status for Sunday's AFC championship game is uncertain.

Armstrong re-injured his groin while warming up before the Raiders' 30-10 win over the New York Jets last Sunday. He played for one snap during the Jets' first offensive series.

Armstrong, 37, said he "ripped" his groin in a pregame drill.

"We wrapped it and did other stuff, but I couldn't even support my own weight," Armstrong said.

Meantime, Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair will sit out of practice until at least Wednesday because of a sore thumb, but he promised to be ready for the game against the Raiders.

Coaching Decisions

Special offensive assistant Sherman Lewis was promoted to offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions. He also will coach the wide receivers. Lewis replaces Maurice Carthon, who left to work as offensive coordinator under Bill Parcells in Dallas. He also replaces fired receivers coach Larry Kirksey. . . .

Cardinals wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan changed his mind and accepted the job of offensive coordinator for Arizona.