ShareThis Page

NFL notebook: Report: Texans eyeing Smith, PSU's O'Brien

| Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 7:21 p.m.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith interviewed for the Texans' head coaching vacancy, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Smith went 81-63 in nine seasons with Chicago but was fired after missing the playoffs in 2012.

The Texans, who fired Gary Kubiak two weeks ago, also are interested in Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, the Chronicle reported.

• Colts punter Pat McAfee doesn't want to be called “defenseless,” even if the rules say he is. “It kind of sets us back in the position,” the former Plum and West Virginia product said on the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday. “There's this perception that punters and kickers aren't athletes. ... There's a few of us trying to debunk that.” Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin was fined $25,000 this week for a hit that broke Bengals punter Kevin Huber's jaw. An NFL rule states punters and kickers are considered “defenseless throughout the down.”

• Browns star cornerback Joe Haden rode a stationary bike during practice as he recovers from a painful hip bruise. His status for this week's game against the Jets is still not known. Also, Browns tight endJordan Cameron (concussion) missed his second straight day of practice.

• The Bills game will not be televised in their area Sunday when they play the Dolphins after failing to reach a sellout. It's the first blackout for the Bills this season. Buffalo came close to a blackout twice, but ownerRalph Wilson Jr. purchased the remaining tickets for games against the Bengals (Oct. 13) and the Jets (Nov. 17). As of Wednesday, the Bills, who are out of the playoffs for the 14th straight season, had 16,000 tickets available.

• Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He was injured on Sunday in the third quarter of the Giants' 23-0 loss to the Seahawks.

Larry Fitzgerald said he practiced fully but has one more concussion test to pass with an independent neurologist before he is cleared to play Sunday at Seattle. Still, the Arizona star wide receiver said he expects to play. So does quarterback Carson Palmer, who is dealing with a high ankle sprain.

• Vikings running back Adrian Peterson remains on track to return to action this weekend despite being held out of practice for further treatment on his sprained right foot.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.