Tough day for backs as Michel and McCoy suffer injuries

It was a tough day for NFL running backs to stay on the field.

The New England Patriots lost Sony Michel to a knee injury, while Bills back LeSean McCoy suffered a head injury. Bilal Powell sustained a neck injury in the second quarter of the Jets’ loss to the Vikings on Sunday.

Michel had to be helped off the field after he got twisted around by Bilal Nichols as he was tackled on the first play of the second quarter. Michel lost a fumble on the play and had to be helped to the sideline. In the previous three games, Michel rushed for 316 yards and four touchdowns.

McCoy got injured on the Bills’ second offensive play when he hurt his head while going out of bounds. He walked slowly across the field and into the injury tent, where he was checked by team doctors. After a few minutes, McCoy came out of the tent and walked across the field with one arm around a trainer or team doctor. Coach Sean McDermott said it was unclear whether McCoy would be cleared through the concussion protocol in time for next Monday’s game against New England.

He was replaced in the lineup by veteran Chris Ivory, who also briefly left in the third quarter with what appeared to be a lower left leg or foot injury. He did return.

It wasn’t just the running backs who got hurt. Miami lost receiver Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills. Wilson left with a leg injury in the second quarter after his foot appeared to buckle when he was tackled on a 25-yard reception. Stills limped to the locker room with a minute left in the loss to the Lions.

Earlier in the game, he accidently hurt a stadium security guard’s shoulder when he blindsided her on a scoring play . Stills’ momentum carried him into the guard after he caught a 5-yard pass in the corner of the end zone, and the woman tumbled to the ground. A dazed Stills checked on her and gave her the ball as a souvenir. The Dolphins said the guard was taken to the hospital as a precaution with a sore shoulder.

Miami coach Adam Gase said he didn’t consider the positioning of the guard near the end zone something that needed to be addressed.

“Every stadium is like that where that can happen,” the coach said.

In other injury news:

—Jets safety Doug Middleton, starting in place of the injured Marcus Maye, also left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. It was uncertain how Middleton was injured. He was in on punt coverage and then took the field on defense, but took a knee to signal he was hurt and headed straight to the locker room with Jets medical staff. Jets coach Todd Bowles said both Middleton and Powell would have tests to determine the severity of their injuries.

—Minnesota left guard Tom Compton departed in the first quarter with a knee injury.

—Panthers DE Mario Addison twice left the game at Philadelphia with a back injury and didn’t return after going out in the fourth quarter.

—Buccaneers LB Kwon Alexander was lost to a knee injury late in the second quarter. Backup LB Jack Cichy left in the third quarter and did not return.

—Colts defensive tackle Jihad Ward was carted off the field with an injured right ankle in the first quarter and TE Eric Swoope left with a knee injury. Neither returned.

—49ers safety Adrian Colbert was taken off on a cart after injuring his right leg in the third quarter. Linebacker Reuben Foster left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

—Houston wide receiver Keke Coutee left in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and was ruled out at halftime. —Jacksonville cornerback Tyler Patmon was ruled out in the second quarter of the same game because of a strained neck.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL

McIlroy commits to Farmers Insurance Open for first time

McIlroy commits to Farmers Insurance Open for first time

McIlroy commits to Farmers Insurance Open for first time

Rory McIlroy will tee it up at Torrey Pines next week at the Farmers Insurance Open, tournament organizers announced Tuesday.

This will be the first appearance in the San Diego-area event for the world No. 8 player, who noted his focus in 2019 will be on the PGA Tour. McIlroy recently finished in a three-way tie for fourth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii, which also was a new event for the Northern Ireland native. While at Kapalua, McIlroy told reported he wanted to play once more before the Genesis Open in Southern California in mid-February.

The 29-year-old McIlroy has won 14 PGA Tour titles including four majors. His most recent victory was at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., last March.

McIlroy joins a field that includes defending champion Jason Day, FedExCup champ Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth. Tiger Woods, who has played the event 17 times and won seven of them, has yet to commit to the Jan. 24-27 event.

The commitment deadline for the event is Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

–Field Level Media

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Giants QB Lauletta pleads guilty to disorderly persons offense

Giants QB Lauletta pleads guilty to disorderly persons offense

Giants QB Lauletta pleads guilty to disorderly persons offense

New York Giants rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a disorderly persons offense stemming from an October incident, ESPN reported.

Lauletta also admitted guilt to tickets for an improper turn and disregarding an officer’s instructions in a proceeding at Hudson County Court in Jersey City, N.J. Another disorderly persons charge and an eluding police charge were dropped.

All charges will be dropped if Lauletta remains out of trouble for the next 12 months.

Lauletta was arrested Oct. 30 at approximately 8 a.m. ET as he was driving to the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Weehawken Police Department said in a press release that day that Lauletta was observed operating a 2017 Jaguar “in a dangerous manner in heavy traffic” and nearly struck an officer while attempting to evade him.

“Upon being directed by an officer to continue in his marked lane, Mr. Lauletta attempted to evade him, making an illegal turn and continuing towards Route 495, almost striking the officer,” the statement said in part. “Mr. Lauletta was subsequently stopped by another officer and refused various instructions to provide his driving credentials and exit his vehicle.

“He was then arrested and charged with eluding police, a third-degree crime, obstructing administration of law, and resisting arrest, which are disorderly persons offenses. Motor vehicle charges are for reckless driving, disregarding an officer’s directions, improper turn in marked traffic lane, and failure to remain in a marked lane.”

The police statement said a 2017 Jaguar registered to Lauletta was involved in a similar incident the previous day in the same location and didn’t stop at the scene.

The Giants reportedly fined Lauletta for the incident.

The 23-year-old Lauletta appeared in two games this season. He was 0-for-5 passing with an interception against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 9 and didn’t attempt any passes in his other appearance against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 30.

Lauletta was a fourth-round pick out of Richmond.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys, Chargers coaching Pro Bowl; Luck replaces Rivers

Cowboys, Chargers coaching Pro Bowl; Luck replaces Rivers

Cowboys, Chargers coaching Pro Bowl; Luck replaces Rivers

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, the NFL announced on Tuesday, as an injury replacement for Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

Luck’s selection marks the first since 2014 for the six-year veteran, who was a Pro Bowl pick in his first three seasons.

Luck missed the entire 2017 campaign while recovering from shoulder surgery but returned in 2018 to record his career-best overall season. The 29-year-old recorded career highs in completions (430), attempts (639), completion percentage (67.3) and passer rating (98.7). In 16 games this season, he threw for 4,593 yards with 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

“Through everything there was just something there with him that I saw, talking to him, his conviction, his belief in where he was going,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said of Luck on Monday. “I just believed, and I believed that we would get it right here.”

Also Tuesday, the NFL announced the Chargers’ and Dallas Cowboys’ staffs will coach the AFC and NFC teams, respectively, in the Pro Bowl. The coaching staffs of the highest-seeded divisional-round losers typically coach the league’s annual all-star game, barring significant staff changes.

The Chargers, whose postseason included a wild-card win on the road at Baltimore before a loss to New England in the divisional round, finished the season 12-4 and first in the AFC West. Head coach Anthony Lynn confirmed Monday that he and his staff will handle coaching duties for the AFC squad, which boasts a league-high seven Chargers players selected for the game.

This marks the third time in the last five years that Jason Garrett and the Cowboys’ staff will coach the Pro Bowl. The Cowboys, who finished 10-6 and won the NFC East, defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round and before falling to Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round.

The Pro Bowl is set for Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla.

–Field Level Media

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Parry to referee Super Bowl LIII

Parry to referee Super Bowl LIII

Parry to referee Super Bowl LIII

John Parry will be the referee for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, the NFL announced Tuesday.

It will be Parry’s second Super Bowl as referee and third as an official. He refereed Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants’ second victory over the New England Patriots, and was the side judge in Super Bowl XLI, when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears.

Parry’s crew for the game on Feb. 3 comprises umpire Fred Bryan, down judge Edgar Camp, line judge Jeff Bergman, field judge Steve Zimmer, side judge Eugene Hall and back judge Terrence Miles.

Bryan, Camp and Hall will be working their first Super Bowls, while Bergman, Zimmer and Miles have each worked one before.

Parry officiated the Los Angeles Rams’ game against the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round, in which eight penalties for 67 yards were called. One call in that game made by Parry drew attention — he ruled a sack with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott “in the grasp” when Prescott’s teammate, not an opponent, was holding him in the pocket.

Parry’s regular-season crew — which was made up of different officials — called 13 penalties for 112.7 yards per game this year.

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Report: Jaguars interviewing McCoy for OC

Report: Jaguars interviewing McCoy for OC

The Jacksonville Jaguars are interviewing former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator

Report: Jaguars interviewing McCoy for OC

The Jacksonville Jaguars are interviewing former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for the same position on their staff, ESPN reported Tuesday.

McCoy, 46, was fired by the Cardinals in October, as Arizona’s offense ranked at or near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every major category. It was the second consecutive season in which McCoy was fired midseason; the Denver Broncos let him go midway through 2017.

McCoy has six years of experience as an offensive coordinator, including a four-year stint in Denver from 2009 to 2012 that earned him a head-coaching job with the then-San Diego Chargers. His offenses have finished in the top 10 in yards three times (2012-13, 2015) and in points twice (2012, 2016).

Jacksonville 92.5 FM reported Monday that the Jaguars interviewed former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo — who also was fired midseason — over the weekend.

Once considered a possible head-coaching candidate, DeFilippo was fired late in the season amid the Vikings’ offensive struggles and head coach Mike Zimmer’s demands to run the ball more.

The Jaguars are looking for a replacement after firing Nathaniel Hackett during the second half of the regular season. Quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich took over on an interim basis, but it’s unclear if he is in contention for the job permanently.

Jacksonville also reportedly interviewed former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken, while showing interest in Gary Kubiak. Monken joined the Browns’ staff, and Kubiak was hired by the Vikings.

The Jaguars finished 31st in scoring, 27th in total offense and 30th in yards per play in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Cardinals interviewing Cooter for OC opening

Report: Cardinals interviewing Cooter for OC opening

The Arizona Cardinals are interviewing former Detroit Lions

Report: Cardinals interviewing Cooter for OC opening

The Arizona Cardinals are interviewing former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for the same position on their staff, ESPN reported Tuesday.

New head coach Kliff Kingsbury will run his own offense and call plays in Arizona, but he said last week he would like to hire a coordinator with NFL experience.

Cooter, 34, had his three-plus-year tenure as the Lions’ coordinator end earlier this month when the team declined to renew his contract. After joining Detroit as a quarterbacks coach in 2014, Cooter was promoted to interim offensive coordinator midway through 2015.

He helped Matthew Stafford have a career season in 2017, as the Lions finished seventh in points and 13th in yards that season. However, Detroit finished 25th in points and 24th in yards in 2018, more in line with its rankings in 2015 and 2016.

According to multiple reports, the Cardinals also interviewed John DeFilippo — who has also interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ opening — for the job on Sunday.

Once considered a possible head-coaching candidate, DeFilippo was fired late in the season by the Minnesota Vikings amid the team’s offensive struggles and head coach Mike Zimmer’s demands to run the ball more.

DeFilippo, 40, also spent one year as a coordinator with the Cleveland Browns in 2015, and he was the Philadephia Eagles’ quarterbacks coach from 2016-17, winning a Super Bowl last year.

The Cardinals reportedly offered former Atlanta Falcons coordinator Steve Sarkisian their job, but he is expected to return to the college ranks at Alabama on Nick Saban’s staff.

-Field Level Media

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Report: Jets hire Williams as DC

Report: Jets hire Williams as DC

The New York Jets are

Report: Jets hire Williams as DC

The New York Jets are finalizing a deal with their top choice at defensive coordinator, former Cleveland Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Per the report, the Jets hoped to make Williams their DC regardless of whom they hired as head coach. Now Williams will pair with new head coach Adam Gase, who is the de facto offensive coordinator.

ESPN reported the Washington Redskins — whose defense Williams coordinated from 2004-07, producing three top-10 units — also pursued Williams, but the Jets had more interest. Washington still has Greg Manusky under contract as defensive coordinator, but reports have connected the team to various other options.

Williams was let go by the Browns last week after the team chose Freddie Kitchens as its next head coach. Williams went 5-3 as the interim coach in Cleveland after Hue Jackson was fired at midseason, and he also was head coach in Buffalo from 2001-03.

In 17 years as a defensive coordinator, Williams has called plays for six teams. The Browns fell from 14th in yards allowed in 2017 to 30th last season, but they climbed from 31st to 21st in points allowed.

Williams’ units have ranked 11th or better in yards and points in the same season six times, though none since 2010 with the New Orleans Saints. He was infamously at the center of the Bountygate scandal in New Orleans, which led to a one-year suspension in 2012.

The Jets’ defense has ranked 22nd or worse in points allowed in three straight seasons and 25th in yards allowed each of the last two years.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints sign DT Walker to replace Rankins

Report: Saints sign DT Walker to replace Rankins

Report: Saints sign DT Walker to replace Rankins

The New Orleans Saints signed free agent defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker ahead of the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams to replace injured defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, the NFL Network reported Tuesday.

The Saints placed Rankins on injured reserve after he ruptured his Achilles in Sunday’s divisional-round victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Walker, 28, began his career in New Orleans as an undrafted free agent and played 23 games with the Saints in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Walker was with the Los Angeles Rams last season, appearing in all 17 games.

Walker has 4.5 career sacks in 58 NFL games with the Saints, Detroit Lions and Rams.

The Saints battle the Rams on Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs activate G Duvernay-Tardif, cut S Parker

Chiefs activate G Duvernay-Tardif, cut S Parker

Chiefs activate G Duvernay-Tardif, cut S Parker

The Kansas City Chiefs activated right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from injured reserve and waived safety Ron Parker on Tuesday, the team announced.

Duvernay-Tardif, who turns 28 in February, landed on IR after he broke his fibula in Week 5. He was expected to return before the end of the regular season, but further examination found a spiral fracture that required surgery, extending his absence.

He is expected to reclaim his starting spot from Andrew Wylie, who has started 11 straight games at right guard. Duvernay-Tardif has missed time due to injury in each of the last three seasons, but he has been a full-time starter when healthy, earning a five-year, $42.4 million extension two years ago.

Parker, 31, fell behind Daniel Sorensen and Jordan Lucas on the depth chart in recent weeks, losing his starting spot in Week 17 and playing just eight snaps in Saturday’s playoff win.

After starting 64 games over five seasons with the Chiefs, Parker was released by the team last March, only to return to K.C. in September after being released by the Atlanta Falcons at final cuts.

Parker finished this year with two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and five passes defensed.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles coach Pederson: ‘Wentz is the QB going forward’

Eagles coach Pederson: ‘Wentz is the QB going forward’

Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles coach Pederson: ‘Wentz is the QB going forward’

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson didn’t waste any time putting an end to speculation about the team’s quarterback situation next year, saying Tuesday that “Carson Wentz is the quarterback going forward.”

Pederson and Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman held a news conference amid rampant speculation about the status of backup Nick Foles, last year’s Super Bowl Most Valuable Player who led the team to the playoffs again this season in place of the injured Wentz.

“Carson Wentz is the quarterback going forward,” Pederson said Tuesday. “And in Nick’s case, listen, we’d love to have everybody back throughout the roster, but as I’ve said many times, it’s not about one guy, it’s about the team, and we’re going to do what’s best for the team.”

Foles, 29, said Monday that he “would love to lead a team” as a starter next season. The Eagles hold a $20 million option on Foles for 2019 but the quarterback can buy it out for $2 million to become a free agent, barring a franchise tag.

“We would love to keep Nick Foles,” Roseman said Tuesday. “You talk about a guy we drafted here and we’ve grown incredibly close with. I don’t know a team that wouldn’t want to have Nick Foles on their roster. Certainly as we go into the substance of those discussions, we haven’t had them yet, but there’s no question we love having Nick Foles as an Eagle in Philadelphia and we’d love to keep him.”

Foles took over last year after Wentz tore his ACL and LCL, leading the team to the Super Bowl title against the New England Patriots. Foles took over again this season after it was discovered that Wentz had a stress fracture in his back.

The Eagles qualified for the postseason as an NFC wild card, defeated the Bears in Chicago before being eliminated by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

“We have a lot of confidence in Carson and his ability to be our quarterback and to hopefully be a 19-game starter when we look at the season and what we’re trying to do,” Roseman said.

Foles turns 30 on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Colts part ways with OL coach DeGuglielmo

Reports: Colts part ways with OL coach DeGuglielmo

Reports: Colts part ways with OL coach DeGuglielmo

The Indianapolis Colts are parting ways with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo despite his unit being one of the best in football this past season, according to multiple reports Thursday.

The Colts allowed an NFL-low 18 sacks and graded out second in pass blocking and fourth in run blocking by Football Outsiders, but DeGuglielmo is out after just one year because head coach Frank Reich wants to hire his own guy, per NFL Network.

Indianapolis gave up a league-high 56 sacks in 2017.

DeGuglielmo was the only offensive coach hired last year by Josh McDaniels before the Patriots’ offensive coordinator changed his mind at the 11th hour to pass on the Colts’ head-coaching post. The Colts went on to hire Reich, who led the team to the playoffs as a wild card in his first season, in large part because of the revamped O-line.

Further, there were reports that Reich and DeGuglielmo weren’t on the same page. However, NFL Network reports Reich is recommending DeGuglielmo to others.

DeGuglielmo has been an assistant coach for 13 years, including previous stops in Miami, New England and with the New York Giants, the latter two resulting in Super Bowl titles.

According to Sirius XM NFL, the Colts also will lose assistant offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, who will be the Buffalo Bills’ next offensive line coach.

Johnson will be in his second stint in Buffalo, after serving as assistant offensive line coach from 2010-11.

Whomever Reich hires in Indianapolis will inherit a group of young linemen led by All-Pro rookie left guard Quenton Nelson, rookie right tackle Braden Smith and former first-round center Ryan Kelly.

The Colts were ousted from the playoffs by the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Broncos interviewing Donatell for DC

Report: Broncos interviewing Donatell for DC

The Denver Broncos are interviewing Chicago Bears defensive

Report: Broncos interviewing Donatell for DC

The Denver Broncos are interviewing Chicago Bears defensive backs coach Ed Donatell for their defensive coordinator opening Tuesday, 9News Denver reported.

Donatell was one of new Broncos head coach Vic Fangio’s top assistants in Chicago. He interviewed for the Bears’ coordinator position after Fangio left for Denver, but that job went to Chuck Pagano.

With his contract expired, Donatell is now reportedly choosing between the Broncos and Bears, who want him back as DBs coach. In Denver, Donatell would have the coordinator title, though Fangio plans to call plays on Sundays.

The Broncos also announced Tuesday they have hired former Bears outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley for the same position in Denver, after he spent two years under Fangio in Chicago.

Per 9News Denver, the Broncos are continuing to interview San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello on Tuesday for their opening at offensive coordinator, after beginning the process Monday.

There have been no other reported candidates for the offensive or defensive coordinator positions. Gary Kubiak was expected to fill the former before philosophical differences disrupted the plan, and he has since been hired by the Minnesota Vikings.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens DT Williams replaces Atkins in Pro Bowl

Ravens DT Williams replaces Atkins in Pro Bowl

Baltimore Ravens defensive

Ravens DT Williams replaces Atkins in Pro Bowl

Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams was named to his first career Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday afternoon.

The six-year veteran will replace Cincinnati Bengals tackle Geno Atkins, who is unable to participate due to injury.

“Thank you to the fans and NFL colleagues who voted for me,” Williams said in a statement. “It is an honor to represent the city of Baltimore and the Ravens organization. My wife and I couldn’t hold back our tears of excitement and joy to know that after six wonderful years in the NFL, and with God’s guidance, we have reached our goal of getting selected to the Pro Bowl!

“I couldn’t be more appreciative and thankful to everyone who has had a hand or vote in getting my dream to come true, and I look forward to playing the game in Orlando. I vowed to myself and to my wife that we could not take a trip to Hawaii until after I went to the Pro Bowl. Honey, pack your bags!”

Williams posted 34 tackles (three for loss), one sack and one pass defensed on the season. Since the 29-year-old became a starter in 2014, the Ravens have allowed an NFL-low 95.1 rushing yards per game.

Williams will join teammates Eric Weddle, C.J. Mosley and Marshal Yanda for the NFL’s annual all-star showcase in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 27.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Vikings bring Kubiak on as adviser

NFL notebook: Vikings bring Kubiak on as adviser

The

NFL notebook: Vikings bring Kubiak on as adviser

The Minnesota Vikings have hired former Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak in an advisory role, the team confirmed Monday night.

The Vikings also added Kubiak’s son, Klint, as quarterbacks coach and Brian Pariani as tight ends coach. The team reportedly is retaining recently promoted Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator.

Gary Kubiak most recently was a senior personnel adviser for Denver. Klint Kubiak had been on the Broncos’ coaching staff the past three seasons, and he assumed responsibilities as the primary quarterbacks coach for the final six weeks of the regular season in 2017.

Gary Kubiak, who coached the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 title, had been scheduled to interview Tuesday for the job as offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

–Dispatched Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is set to become offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers. Multiple reports said a deal with the 39-year-old Hackett was nearly finalized.

Hackett was fired by the Jaguars on Nov. 26 amidst a tailspin that included lingering injuries to running back Leonard Fournette and prompted a change at quarterback.

–Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak accepted the same position with the Broncos, Denver coach Vic Fangio announced.

With Munchak joining the Broncos, the franchise has lured its two finalists for the vacancy at head coach, which went to Fangio, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. Munchak’s contract with the Steelers expired at the end of the season.

–Embattled offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will be back with the Dallas Cowboys next season if head coach Jason Garrett gets his way. However, vice president Stephen Jones said it was too soon to discuss such moves.

Garrett, in a radio interview with 105.3 FM in Dallas, said he expects no major changes to the coaching staff and plans for Linehan to return in 2019. But Jones later told the same station, “I think it’s a little early to be speculating about players, coaches, anything like that other than I really do think our group overall did a nice job.”

–General manager Ryan Pace said during the Chicago Bears’ end-of-the-season news conference that the team intends to pick up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Leonard Floyd’s contract. Floyd, a Georgia product, was the No. 9 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.

However, the status of kicker Cody Parkey, whose 43-yard field-goal attempt that would have beaten Philadelphia in the NFC wild-card game two weekends ago was no good, is uncertain. Coach Matt Nagy was upset that Parkey appeared on NBC’s “Today” show last week in the wake of the missed attempt, which was slightly tipped by an Eagles player.

“We win as a team, we lose as a team,” Nagy said. “You know, I just, I didn’t necessarily think that that was too much of a ‘we’ thing.”

–Pace and Nagy did not close the door on potentially bringing in former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt should the opportunity present itself.

Hunt was cut and placed on the commissioner’s exempt list in late November after a video surfaced showing Hunt shoving and kicking a woman at a Cleveland apartment building in February.

Nagy spent two years as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator prior to this season, including coaching Hunt for his rookie season in 2017, when the running back led the NFL in rushing yards. Nagy talked about giving individuals “second chances, not third chances.”

–Chiefs coach Andy Reid wore cargo shorts to his news conference at Arrowhead Stadium, but he might be sporting pants and a parka this weekend.

When the Chiefs host the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City on Sunday against the New England Patriots, temperatures could be downright frigid. Weather.com has a forecast range for 6:40 p.m. ET (scheduled kickoff time) in the 5-below-zero to 10-above-zero range.

–At the news conference formally introducing him as Browns head coach, Freddie Kitchens said fans can get on board or get out of the way as he takes the reins in Cleveland.

“It takes some guts to do what they did — I know I’m not a popular choice. And I don’t care,” said Kitchens, who will remain the primary play-caller in Cleveland despite the addition of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator.

–Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice says disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown wants to play for the San Francisco 49ers “really bad.”

Rice, who made the comments Monday during a radio interview, reportedly had a FaceTime conversation with Brown on Sunday.

–The Steelers named Shaun Sarrett offensive line coach after he served as the team’s assistant O-line coach last season.

Sarrett has been with the team for seven seasons, spending the first six as an offensive assistant.

–Field Level Media

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Packers to name Hackett OC

Packers to name Hackett OC

Dispatched Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is set

Packers to name Hackett OC

Dispatched Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is set to become offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.

Multiple reports Monday said a deal with the 39-year-old Hackett was nearly finalized.

Hackett was fired by the Jaguars on Nov. 26 amidst a tailspin that included lingering injuries to running back Leonard Fournette and prompted a change at quarterback.

The quarterback is not a question mark in Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers is in the second-year of a massive contract extension signed prior to last season, and team president Mark Murphy, along with general manager Brian Gutekunst, changed head coaches to a maximize the team’s asset at the QB position.

Matt LaFleur was hired to replace Mike McCarthy because Murphy identified him as the best candidate to extract Rodgers’ peak performance.

“Quite honestly, the way our team’s structured, we (need) somebody who’s going to be able to work with Aaron and help him play the very best he can play,” Murphy said. “(That) is going to really help us win.”

LaFleur said his initial conversation went well with Rodgers.

“I can tell he’s a passionate guy, and he wants to win. And I think that holds true for me as well. So, I think we’re in alignment there,” he said. “This game is about winning. I know that he wants to add to his legacy, and the only way we’re going to accomplish that is to win a world championship.”

Hackett will be a conduit between Rodgers and LaFleur. He was named offensive coordinator of the Jaguars in 2016 and worked primarily with Blake Bortles, who has more turnovers than any quarterback since entering the NFL as a first-round pick in 2014.

Rodgers had only two interceptions this season but also posted only 25 touchdown passes, his career low for a full season.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings hire Gary Kubiak as offensive adviser

Vikings hire Gary Kubiak as offensive adviser

The Minnesota

Vikings hire Gary Kubiak as offensive adviser

The Minnesota Vikings hired former Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak as assistant head coach/offensive adviser on Monday.

The Vikings also added Kubiak’s son, Klint, as quarterbacks coach and Brian Pariani as tight ends coach. The team reportedly is retaining recently promoted Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator.

Klint Kubiak has been on the Broncos’ coaching staff the past three seasons, and assumed responsibilities as the primary quarterbacks coach for the final six weeks of the regular season in 2017, but previously worked on the Vikings’ staff (2013-14) and knows Stefanski well.

Gary Kubiak, who coached the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 title under general manager John Elway and most recently was a senior personnel adviser for Denver, had been scheduled to interview Tuesday for the job as offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The latest developments took place after Gary Kubiak, who was backup quarterback to Elway during his NFL playing career, was expected to become the Broncos’ offensive coordinator under new head coach Vic Fangio. Those plans reportedly changed due to philosophical differences. According to multiple reports, one issue was Gary Kubiak wanted to hire his own staff, including bringing back longtime assistants Rick Dennison and Pariani, whom the Broncos fired two years ago.

However, NFL Network reported things remained amicable between Denver and Gary Kubiak, and the Broncos weren’t standing in the way of any interview requests from other teams. Before Gary Kubiak’s plans in Denver fell through, though, the Broncos reportedly blocked the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals from interviewing him for their coordinator openings. The Falcons have since hired Dirk Koetter as their offensive coordinator.

Gary Kubiak, 57, spent the last two years in personnel after retiring from coaching due to health concerns. He recently has been hoping to get back into coaching. He also was the head coach of the Houston Texans for eight seasons and the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014.

Pariani, 53, formerly was a tight ends coach for the Broncos, Texans and Ravens.

Klint Kubiak, 31, was an offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach for the Broncos from 2016-18.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers promote Sarrett to coach offensive line

Steelers promote Sarrett to coach offensive line

The Pittsburgh Steelers wasted

Steelers promote Sarrett to coach offensive line

The Pittsburgh Steelers wasted little time in finding a replacement for offensive line coach Mike Munchak, promoting longtime offensive assistant Shaun Sarrett to assume the role.

Sarrett worked mainly with the offensive line as an assistant from 2012-17, then was promoted to assistant offensive line coach for the 2018 season. His other duties with the team have included assisting the offensive coaching staff with game preparation, video analysis and opponent scouting.

“We are excited to promote Shaun to coach our offensive line,” head coach Mike Tomlin said on the team’s official website. “We have full confidence in his coaching abilities, and we look forward to him using his experience as he has been preparing for this opportunity to take on the challenges that will be presented to him.”

With left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, center Maurkice Pouncey and right guard David DeCastro, Sarrett has three linemen heading to the Pro Bowl, a formidable group to keep the offense moving.

Munchak departed Monday to become the offensive line coach of the Denver Broncos.

Before joining the Steelers’ staff, Sarrett was offensive quality control coach and offensive line assistant coach at Duke University from 2008-11. He also coached from 2005-07 at Marshall University, where he earned his master’s degree.

He began his coaching career in 2004 at Streetsboro (Ohio) High School, working with the offensive and defensive lines.

A three-year letterman at guard at Kent State, Sarrett hails from Beckley, W.Va.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos hire Munchak as OL coach

Broncos hire Munchak as OL coach

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive

Broncos hire Munchak as OL coach

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak accepted the same position with the Broncos, Denver coach Vic Fangio said Monday.

With Munchak joining the Broncos, the franchise has lured its two finalists for the vacancy at head coach, which went to Fangio, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.

“There’s nobody better as an offensive line coach than Mike Munchak,” Fangio said in a statement. “The combination of his ability to coach the individual with his ability to coach the group — while also being a big part of the overall offense — is very impressive.

“Mike’s experience and stature as a coach in the NFL make this a home run hire for us. We’re very excited to add him to our staff.”

Munchak’s contract with the Steelers expired at the end of the season.

Until Friday, it was presumed former Broncos quarterback and head coach Gary Kubiak was set to shift from the front office to oversee the Broncos’ offense. However, the two sides split over a difference of philosophy, and Kubiak was hired as an offensive adviser by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.

Munchak, 58, has three years of head-coaching experience, going 22-26 from 2011 to 2013 with the Tennessee Titans. He could have stayed with the team longer but was fired when he declined to make changes to his staff. He has spent the past five years in his current position in Pittsburgh after spending the first 20 years of his coaching career with the Titans/Houston Oilers franchise.

Munchak was a Hall of Fame guard for the Oilers during a 12-year playing career.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Steelers OL coach Munchak joining Broncos

Report: Steelers OL coach Munchak joining Broncos

Steelers offensive line coach

Report: Steelers OL coach Munchak joining Broncos

Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak is on the verge of taking the same position with the Denver Broncos, according to reports.

If Munchak joins the Broncos, the franchise will have lured its two finalists for the vacancy at head coach, which went to Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Munchak would likely be given a senior title, such as assistant head coach, according to reports.

Munchak’s contract with the Steelers expired at the end of the season.

Until Friday, it was presumed former Broncos quarterback and head coach Gary Kubiak was set to shift from the front office to oversee the Broncos’ offense. But the two sides split over a difference of philosophy.

Munchak has three years of head-coaching experience, going 22-26 from 2011 to 2013 with the Tennessee Titans. He could have stayed with the team longer but was fired when he declined to make changes to his staff. He has spent the past five years in his current position in Pittsburgh after spending the first 20 years of his coaching career with the Titans/Houston Oilers franchise.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Vikings hiring Gary Kubiak as offensive adviser

Report: Vikings hiring Gary Kubiak as offensive adviser

The

Report: Vikings hiring Gary Kubiak as offensive adviser

The Minnesota Vikings are hiring former Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak in an advisory role, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Citing a league source, Schefter broke the news Monday on Twitter, and also reported that the Vikings are expected to hire Kubiak’s son, Klint, as their next quarterbacks coach and that they’ll retain recently promoted Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator. The Kubiak moves have not yet been confirmed by the Vikings, but multiple outlets reported that Kubiak was in Minnesota on Monday to discuss a possible coaching position.

Sources told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the Vikings did hire Gary Kubiak, though his title was still to be determined.

Klint Kubiak has been on the Broncos’ coaching staff the past three seasons, and assumed responsibilities as the primary quarterbacks coach for the final six weeks of the regular season in 2017, but previously worked on the Vikings’ staff (2013-14) and knows Stefanski well.

Gary Kubiak, who coached the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 title under general manager John Elway and had been under contract in Denver’s personnel department, was scheduled to interview Tuesday for the job as offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

These developments took place after Kubiak, who was backup quarterback to Elway during his NFL playing career, was expected to become the Broncos offensive coordinator under new head coach Vic Fangio. Those plans changed due to philosophical differences. According to multiple reports, one issue was Kubiak wanted to hire his own staff, including bringing back longtime assistants Rick Dennison and Brian Pariani, who the Broncos fired two years ago.

But NFL Network reports things remained amicable between Denver and Kubiak, and the Broncos weren’t standing in the way of any interview requests from other teams. Before Kubiak’s plans in Denver fell through, though, the Broncos reportedly blocked the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals from interviewing him for their coordinator openings. The Falcons have since hired Dirk Koetter as their OC.

Kubiak, 57, spent the last two years in personnel after retiring from coaching due to health concerns. He recently has been hoping to get back into coaching. He also was the head coach of the Houston Texans for eight seasons and the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014.

–Field Level Media

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