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Marwan Maalouf out as Colts’ special teams coordinator

Indianapolis Colts place kicker Vinatieri celebrates kicking a field goal against the New York Jets during their AFC Wild Card NFL playoff football game in Indianapolis Reuters

The Indianapolis Colts have announced a change on their coaching staff.

According to a statement released by the team, the Colts and special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf “have mutually agreed to part ways.”

If that’s true, it may be the first truly mutual breakup in coaching history.

The 36-year-old Maalouf followed head coach Chuck Pagano to Indianapolis from Baltimore, where they had worked together on the Ravens’ staff for four seasons.

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Terrell Suggs hopes to play after Ravens bye week

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 2:  Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates during player introductions before the game against the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Tuesday that he is hopeful that his knee will be feeling well enough for him to return to the lineup for the team’s Week Nine game against the Ravens.

His longtime antagonist Terrell Suggs wants to be on the other side of the ball. The Ravens linebacker tore his biceps late in a Week Six loss to the Giants and did not play against the Jets last Sunday, but was on the practice field for the Ravens’ bye week workout on Tuesday.

Suggs said he wants to play against the Steelers and said that the issue will be “pain tolerance” because he’s sure this isn’t a season-ending injury.

“Man, who am I? What team do I play for? I come from an area where this is just a bump in the road,” Suggs said, via the Baltimore Sun. “It may be season-ending for somebody else. It’s not season-ending for Ravens. I’ve played through it before. I told you all that. That was always the plan. Last time, I tore it [in 2012], I missed the first game. I came back and struggled through the second game. I slowly but surely got it back, and it came at a good time. We’ve got nine left. We’re still in second place in the [AFC North] division, and we can still do some things. I want to be here when we do that.”

Suggs only missed one game after tearing his biceps in 2012 and helped the team on their run to a Super Bowl title. This year’s Ravens team hasn’t shown many signs of going on that kind of run during their current four-game losing streak, but Suggs wants to be part of turning things around in Baltimore.

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Patriots acquire linebacker Kyle Van Noy from Lions

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 25: Eddie Lacy #27 of the Green Bay Packers is hit by Kyle Van Noy #53 of the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on September 25, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Lions and Patriots can work easily together, since Lions General Manager Bob Quinn used to work with Bill Belichick.

And now they’ve swapped a starter, a week ahead of the trade deadline.

In a deal that was broken by more ESPN reporters than people involved, the Lions sent linebacker Kyle Van Noy to New England. The compensation was not disclosed.

The former second-round pick from BYU in 2014 had finally moved into the starting lineup this year, starting all seven games.

The Patriots have a track record of taking other people’s misfits and making them contributors, which will give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

The Patriots previously sent linebacker Jon Bostic to Detroit, and he’s on injured reserve with a foot injury (though he could return).

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John Mara on Josh Brown: Our decisions were misguided

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13:  John Mara, CEO of Giants attends the AEG Live announcement of Paul McCarthy's concert at Met Life Stadium on April 13, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants released kicker Josh Brown on Tuesday, several days after the NFL placed Brown on the Commissioner’s-Exempt list in the wake of the release of documents from police in Washington detailing Brown’s abuse of his then-wife and several months after the team re-signed Brown despite the kicker telling them that he had been abusive.

Giants owner John Mara said last week that the team was not aware of the “extent” of the abuse when they opted to bring Brown back to the roster. In a statement accompanying the announcement of Brown’s release, Mara called that decision “misguided.”

“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” Mara said. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided.  We accept that responsibility. We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father.  We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution.”

The team also included a statement from Brown that featured much of the language he used in a statement released through Adam Schefter of ESPN earlier in the day. One notable change is that Brown’s first statement included his belief that it was “important to share that I never struck my wife” and the one released through the Giants makes no such equivocation from a man who wrote that he “physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife.”

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Giants cut kicker Josh Brown

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2013, file photo, New York Giants kicker Josh Brown reacts after missing a field goal during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Brown admitted in journal entries and emails that he verbally and physically abused his wife, according to documents that were part of a domestic violence case obtained by SNY. Team spokesman Corry Rush declined comment Thursday morning, Oct. 20, 2016,  on the details that emerged from a case in Washington. Brown was arrested in May 2015 on a domestic violence allegation but no charges were filed against the 37-year-old player. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) AP

The Giants made it clear they wanted as far away from Josh Brown as possible, when they left him home from their London game.

Today, they made it official.

The team announced that they were cutting the kicker, after admissions of abuse were released last week, casting them in an even worse light after they re-signed him this offseason knowing of the domestic violence allegations involving his then-wife.

Brown apologized to the Giants in a statement earlier today, but it obviously wasn’t enough for him to keep his job. He was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, effectively paid leave, last week.

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Dolphins work out veteran safeties

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 04:  James Ihedigbo #32 of the Detroit Lions reacts after sacking Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 4, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Dolphins lost safety Reshad Jones for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury and they spent some time on Tuesday looking at veteran safeties who might be able to help them fill the hole that Jones left behind on their defense.

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins worked out James Ihedigbo, Major Wright and Sergio Brown.

Ihedigbo was a teammate of current Miami starter Isa Abdul-Quddus in Detroit and was actually benched in favor of Abdul-Quddus last season. He spent two years with the Lions and has also spent time with the Ravens, Patriots and Jets since entering the NFL in 2008.

Wright was cut by the Buccaneers in August and had a workout with the Panthers a short time later that ended without a contract. He played in 21 games and made nine starts for Tampa over the last two seasons. Brown spent a week with the Falcons this summer and played in 15 games for the Jaguars last season.

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Fan who fell from Sports Authority Field last night has died

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: A general view as fans cheer in the first half of the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

The fan who fell out of Sports Authority Field at Mile High while leaving last night’s game has died.

According to Kirk Mitchell of the Denver Post, the office of the medical examiner confirmed the man’s death this afternoon.

The man fell last night around 11:44 p.m. ET, after the game with the Texans ended. He fell over a stairway railing from “an unknown height.”

Our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.

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Hue Jackson wants his (many) QBs to protect themselves

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 16:  Cody Kessler #6 of the Cleveland Browns  is sacked by Avery Williamson #54 of the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Browns started the year with a quarterback who has always struggled to protect himself.

And now that they’ve used six in seven games, Browns coach Hue Jackson doesn’t need to be convinced of any of their fortitude.

Specifically, he said rookie Cody Kessler has to take better care of himself, after an improvised backhanded flip to tight end Gary Barnidge which caused him to take a hit which led to a concussion.

Cody has proved his toughness,” Jackson said. “He doesn’t have to do that all the time. He can do some things better to protect himself in those situations, but it was a heck of a play that he and Gary made that gave us the chance to go score a touchdown. I don’t want to take the fight out of him, but he also has to understand the situation he’s in.”

It’s uncertain whether Kessler will be cleared in time to play the Jets this week, which could leave Kevin Hogan at the helm.

Regardless, Jackson knows the situation his quarterbacks (plural) have been in, and that dubious offensive lines leave them vulnerable.

“You can’t do it,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, that’s what they’re going to learn because if not, you’re standing over there next to me or you’re in concussion protocol. You just can’t do it. That’s hard. It is a hard lesson to learn sometimes. I used to have this thing where quarterbacks just had to say ‘uncle.’ You throw the ball away or you take a sack just because it’s the right thing to do for your football team. This is not about one individual. This is about your team.

“If you’re not playing, then we’re hurting the team. I don’t think Cody was trying to do anything to hurt his football team. He was trying to do everything he could to help his team score. There’s a fine line, but right now in the situation that we’ve been in losing quarterbacks, the quarterbacks all have to say to themselves, ‘Hey, look, maybe I need to throw this ball away or go down because it is the best thing for our team right now.”’

Sounds like advice that was given to Robert Griffin III. And Josh McCown. And Terrelle Pryor. And Charlie Whitehurst. And Hogan. And eventually Joe Callahan, who seems destined to get a turn this year.

OK, maybe not Whitehurst, he’s gone. But the point stands.

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Roethlisberger does individual work Tuesday, hopes for full return next week

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 23:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the sidelines in the second half during the game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field on October 23, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Steelers held a practice on Tuesday before everyone scatters for the bye week and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a limited participant in the session.

Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan that he did individual work a little more than a week after he had surgery on the injured meniscus in his knee. He also said that he hopes to return to play against the Ravens in Week Nine, something that he thinks would require getting in a fuller practice session in the days leading up to the game.

“Typically I would say no, but it would be nice because I need to know what I can and can’t do,” Roethlisberger said. “Mentally, no, I don’t need it. But physically, just to know what I’m capable of doing … I think in this situation it would smart to get a good, full practice in.”

There were various reports about how long Roethlisberger would be out after he was injured against the Dolphins in Week Six with Steelers president Art Rooney II calling a 2-3 week timeline the best-case scenario.

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Allen Robinson suggests Jaguars have better home-field advantage in London

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 23:   Allen Robinson #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars fights for yardage after a catch as Reggie Nelson #27 of the Oakland Raiders closes in during the game at EverBank Field on October 23, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

Jaguars fans in Jacksonville have supported the team steadfastly, despite nearly a decade of mediocrity. But with increased expectations in 2016 that aren’t being met, the locals are getting restless.

And that isn’t sitting well with receiver Allen Robinson.

“When you hear the atmosphere of when we step out on the field, when we go to punt or before halftime when Blake [Bortles] takes a knee and you hear the booing, it’s kind of funny to me,” Robinson said, via Michael DiRocco of “It’s funny that we get our best home-field advantage when we go to Wembley [Stadium].”

The Jaguars have been playing one home game in London per year, with the other seven played in Jacksonville.

The team has played six games this year, winning two but not performing on offense the way they did a year ago. The next chance to win comes on Thursday night against the Titans. Another loss could grease the skids toward major changes for the organization.

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Josh Brown: I have taken measures to get help

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Josh Brown #3 of the New York Giants celebrates kicking a field goal with teammate Brad Wing #9 in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

Giants kicker Josh Brown was placed on the Commissioner’s-Exempt list last week after the release of documents by the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office.

Included among those documents were writings from Brown that had him admitting that he “physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife” and viewed her as his slave. Many others weighed in on the matter over the last week, but Brown had remained silent until issuing a statement to Adam Schefter of ESPN on Tuesday.

“I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, [Giants owner John] Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way. I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic. It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area. Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down.”

Schefter previously reported that Brown will not appeal the league’s decision to put him on the list, which bars him from playing while he continues to receive his full salary. Brown was suspended for one game to open the year and would have the right to appeal any further discipline the league tries to enact under the auspices of new information coming to light, although Mara’s admission that Brown admitted to the team that he abused his wife may make that difficult for the league.

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Joe Namath says “my bad” after questioning severity of Geno Smith injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 02:  Joe Namath talks with Phil Simms prior to start of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks  at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

Joe Namath has issued an apology for something that didn’t require the advance consumption of Tic Tacs.

On Sunday, Namath questioned the severity of Jets quarterback Geno Smith’s knee injury.

“If you’ve got a right knee injury keeping you out of the game why are you standing on the sideline the entire 2nd half?” Namath tweeted. “How bad can it be?

As it turned out, pretty bad. Geno Smith has a torn ACL.

“Somebody tell Joe that the doctors have the final say on whether you can or cannot get back into the game,” Smith tweeted, “and also that I love him!”

Namath then issued an apology, although arguably half-hearted and incomplete.

My bad Geno,” Namath said. “In the dark ages we players had the say. I hope you heal and play as long as you choose!”

So, basically, Namath is saying that, in his day, players played with a torn ACL, if they wanted to. Presumably, they also played with various other ailments, if they wanted to. Including concussions, presumably.

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Doug Pederson concerned about fumbles, but not down on Ryan Mathews

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles fumbles the ball against Xavier Rhodes #29 of the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Getty Images

Eagles running back Ryan Mathews lost a fumble in the fourth quarter for the second time in three games against the Vikings, although the turnover didn’t wind up hurting the team in a 21-10 victory.

That wasn’t the case in Week Five against the Lions, when Detroit took advantage of Mathews’ miscue to drive for a go-ahead field goal in what became a 24-23 victory. Mathews lost three fumbles for the Eagles last year and has fumbled 20 times over the course of his career, although neither recent nor distant history have coach Doug Pederson feeling down about the back.

“Well, it’s definitely a concern and we don’t want to see it, especially in those situations – four-minute situations there at the end of the game,” Pederson said in his Monday press confrence. “We’ve got to continue to either find out if he’s tired, where he’s at at the end of the game; if we need to put Wendell [Smallwood] or Darren [Sproles] in there – we’ll find out more about that. But by no means am I down on Ryan at all. We just have to make sure that he understands that he can’t obviously do that and put ourselves in a situation where we’re giving the ball back to the opponent.”

Whether Mathews understands that it’s a negative to fumble the ball or not is secondary to whether he’s doing the right things to avoid turnovers that can make life more difficult for his team. His history says its an issue and it probably won’t take more than another fumble or two for the Eagles to rethink who is getting the ball down the stretch in games.

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Browns’ depth chart lists Kevin Hogan as first-string quarterback

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 23:  Kevin Hogan #8 of the Cleveland Browns gets tripped up while carrying the ball during the third quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cleveland may be in store for yet another quarterback change.

The Browns’ official depth chart this week lists Kevin Hogan as the first-string quarterback. Joe Callahan, claimed on waivers yesterday, is listed as the second-string quarterback. Josh McCown, who is still recovering from a broken collarbone, is third, while Cody Kessler, who suffered a concussion on Sunday, is listed as fourth.

Hogan’s spot atop the depth chart doesn’t mean he’s going to start on Sunday against the Jets, but it does indicate that he’d be the starter if the Browns had to play today. If Hogan does start he’d be the Browns’ fourth different starting quarterback this season, following Robert Griffin III, McCown and Kessler.

After Kessler suffered his concussion on Sunday, Hogan came in and showed impressive rushing ability, catching the Bengals by surprise with his feet and carrying seven times for 104 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, Hogan wasn’t as successful passing the ball: He completed just 12 of 24 passes for 100 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

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Senior Bowl was glimpse of the future for Cowboys

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 30: North team's quarterback Carson Wentz #11 with North Dakota State looks to throw a pass during their game against the South Team on January 30, 2016 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys got a head start on scouting this week’s opponent, although when they were looking at Carson Wentz, it was with an eye toward the possibility he might be around for longer than a week.

The guy they coached at the Senior Bowl was taken before they had a chance to draft him, and as you may have heard, they found a rookie of their own they like in Dak Prescott. But make no mistake, they were convinced Wentz had the chance to be good.

He clearly loves football,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of the Eagles quarterback, via Todd Archer of “He’s very passionate about it. He’s a smart football player. He’s a talented football player. I thought he grew over the course of the week, a real tribute to the approach that he took. He had a real command with his teammates. I thought he played well in practice, played well in the game. Very impressed by him.”

Wentz was able to go through the week under Cowboys coaches before they knew they’d be facing him twice a year, and he ran a scaled-back version of their offense. And they liked the way he was able to pick up things quickly, which would have made things interesting if he had somehow lasted until the fourth pick in the draft, as he was the highest-rated quarterback on their board.

“I’m not so sure he had ever lost a game, maybe one or two,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “The thing that blew me away was he never made anything lower than like an A in school. I said, ‘Well, you broke my record. I didn’t make it through kindergarten without getting a B.’ But he was really sharp. And he’s a really talented kid. I’m not surprised he’s doing well at all.”

But the Senior Bowl was also when the Cowboys met Prescott, who was playing for the South team that week. And while Wentz got off to the high-profile start, Prescott has shown himself more than able to be a starter, now and in the future.

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Gase attributes surge to healthy o-line, tunnel vision

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Head coach Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins confers with some of his players against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) Getty Images

When the Dolphins were 1-4, plenty of their fans were ready to abandon ship. But first-year coach Adam Gase continued to believe.

His belief has paid off with a pair of wins, heading into the bye week. Appearing on Monday’s PFT Live, Gase attributed the surge to one primary factor.

“I think the fact that we got our five starting offensive lineman back has been obviously a big part of that,” Gase said. “It’s changed the whole way that we’ve been able to play the game where the offense is staying on the field for a longer period of time. We have better time of possession. Our defense is actually getting to do what we built it to do, which is rush the passer and really not play 75 to 80 plays a game. It was a little ridiculous there for the first five games of the season where they were playing just way too many snaps.”

Gase helped weather the early-season storm by shutting out the noise.

“I think it’s easy when you don’t look at the Internet and don’t look at Twitter and don’t listen to radio and don’t watch TV,” Gase said. “So that makes it easy. You just kind of live in your own little bubble and just keep working every day. Our players, I think, did a great job of trying to do the same thing. I know it’s a little tougher for them because they’re out in the public a lot and people have family members and agents and fans. They have more access to them so they probably have to hear a little bit more than what a lot of our coaching staff has to hear. So I’m sure it’s a little tougher to just kind of stay in that tunnel and just keep fighting.”

Why doesn’t Gase consume any media about his team?

“I think it’s just putting negativity in your head,” Gase said. “I just stay away from it. I think we’ve been so busy, there’s so much going on for us right now as far as kind of what we’re trying to do down here. I know our coaching staff is working really hard to keep coming back every day and giving our players a great plan and try to put them in a good position. We haven’t had a lot of time for anything out side of football.”

Whatever they’re doing (or not doing), it’s currently working. And with some extra time to further heal up and plan for the final nine games of the season, Gase and the Dolphins could still make plenty of noise in the AFC.

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