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

Steelers/NFL Videos

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 end Jordan 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 owner Ralph 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.

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