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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Labor unions have agreed to work around the clock five days a week without overtime if needed to build an NFL stadium on St. Louis’ blighted north riverfront. Officials said the effort could save $45 million on a project that carries a price tag of as much as $985 million.

Gov. Jay Nixon and Mayor Francis Slay spoke at a news conference Thursday at the offices of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council union. More than 100 workers crowded the hall as a show of solidarity for the plan to build a 64,000-seat, outdoor stadium and complete construction in two years.

“Today we take another step toward keeping St. Louis an NFL city,” Slay said. “This project is more than just a football stadium.”

Nixon said the 24-hour agreement would provide work for about 1,500 people per day during peak construction and result in 3.4 million work hours. The governor said the work would be “transformational” and provide a “jolt of energy” to downtown whether the Rams stay — or not.

“The secret to our success is our work force,” Nixon said. “The bigger the job, the harder we work. Together, we’re sending a clear, united message.”

The Rams informed officials last month that they were going to a year-to-year lease at the Edward Jones Dome amid speculation that the team may depart for Los Angeles.

Billionaire Rams owner Stan Kroenke is part of a joint venture building an 80,000-seat stadium in the Los Angeles area, adding urgency to the St. Louis effort. Kroenke has not been in direct contact with leaders of the effort, although Rams officials are participating.

Earlier this month, Nixon announced deals with a power company that would relocate lines and a railroad that would move tracks out of the stadium footprint.

Under terms of a 30-year agreement reached in 1995, the Rams had the ability to convert its dome lease to annual terms if the facility was not deemed among the top 25 percent of NFL stadiums based on various criteria. The city’s Convention and Visitors Commission proposed improvements of less than $200 million with the Rams picking up half of the cost and the team countered with a more elaborate plan with a price tag of at least $700 million.

As in previous news conferences, Nixon said if the Rams leave it would cost the state $10 million in annual income tax revenue paid by NFL players.

Nixon said a new stadium would free up the dome for more convention business.

A franchise move would be subject to approval by a three-fourths vote of NFL owners. The league has said no move would be made in time for next season, although Commissioner Roger Goodell has established a committee to review stadium options in Los Angeles and coordinate a possible move.

The Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are all franchises dissatisfied with current stadium agreements and reportedly interested in making a move.

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte practiced Wednesday on a limited basis after being sidelined by a knee injury.

Forte sat out Monday’s 22-19 win at San Diego because of a right knee injury he suffered against Minnesota the previous week.

Coach John Fox says Forte is “not full-go yet” but is “making progress.”

Rookie Jeremy Langford carried the load with Forte sidelined against the Chargers and ran for 72 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. He added 70 yards receiving.

The Bears (3-5) visit St. Louis this week.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have placed wide receiver Justin Hunter on injured reserve while he’s still in a Houston hospital recovering from a lacerated spleen.

Hunter wrote on Twitter he couldn’t wait to get back to his own bed Tuesday a few hours before the Titans announced the roster move.

He was hurt Sunday when hit by Texans safety Danieal Manning in the first quarter on a pass that was intercepted. Hunter returned only to be taken to the hospital after complaining of stomach pains during the 45-21 loss.

The Titans also signed offensive tackle Terren Jones off Baltimore’s practice squad.

The 6-foot-7, 341-pound Jones was undrafted in 2013 out of Alabama State, and he has been on the practice squads with Atlanta, Atlanta, Washington and most recently Baltimore.