NFL notebook: Eli Manning replaces Roethlisberger in Pro Bowl
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was named to the Pro Bowl on Friday, replacing injured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Manning threw for 4,432 yards and a career-high 35 touchdowns this season. This is his fourth Pro Bowl selection.
Roethlisberger suffered a right shoulder injury in the AFC wild-card victory the Bengals.
Also, the NFL announced Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (Penn Hills/Pitt) will be one of four captains at the Jan. 31 game. Donald and Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be captains for one team, and Falcons running back Devonta Freeman and Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins will captain the other team.
Panthers DE Allen ruled out
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said defensive end Jared Allen has been ruled out for Sunday's NFC championship game against the Cardinals with a foot injury.
Kony Ealy will start in his place.
Allen expressed frustration over the decision as he walked out of the locker room, saying he was “disappointed” and feels healthy enough to play.
Rivera says it was a difficult decision, saying Allen is a “warrior.”
Allen broke a bone in his foot in the fourth quarter of Carolina's 31-24 win over Seattle last Sunday.
Allen practiced on Thursday raising some hope that he might play.
Rivera said he is hoping Allen would be ready to play in two weeks in the Super Bowl if Carolina were to win Sunday.
Seattle GM: Lynch may be leaning toward retirement
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch may be “leaning toward retirement,” general manager John Schneider said in a pair of radio interviews.
Schneider said in separate interviews with KIRO-AM and KJR-AM that he believes Lynch is leaning toward ending his career. But Schneider cautioned that with Lynch “you never really know.”
Lynch is coming off an injury-filled season during which he was limited to just seven regular-season games. His contract for 2016 is for $11.5 million. Schneider says if Lynch were to return his contract would require adjustments.
Alabama RB leads 96 early draft entries
Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry of Alabama is among 96 players granted early entry into the NFL Draft.
The 96 players are the second most who have been granted early entry for the last 10 drafts. Two years ago, 98 players got the go-ahead. Last year, it was 74.
Other early draft entries include Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd, West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood and cornerback Daryl Worley, and Duquesne defensive back Trenton Coles.
Report: Niners fire Mangini
The 49ers fired defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, according to multiple reports, and hired Lions assistant Curtis Modkins as offensive coordinator under new coach Chip Kelly.
Mangini was let go after one season in which the team ranked 29th in total defense.
Jags extend Bradley
The Jaguars gave coach Gus Bradley a one-year contract extension and promoted Todd Wash to defensive coordinator.
Bradley is 12-36 in three seasons, and general manager Dave Caldwell said extending him “solidifies Gus' good standing with our current players, provides certainty for free agents who may be considering the Jaguars and helps to deliver the continuity throughout our coaching staff that we think is critical for us to turn the corner.”
Wash replaces Bob Babich, who was fired earlier this month after Jacksonville gave up the second-most points (448) in franchise history.
Pats WR Amendola fined $23K
New England's Danny Amendola was fined $23,152 for a blindside block during a punt in the Patriots' playoff victory over the Chiefs.
Amendola was back as the return man when Kansas City's Jamell Fleming circled under a kick in an attempt to down it inside the 5 yard-line. Amendola lowered his head and took the Chiefs' coverage man out with a hit to the shoulder and head. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick defended the hit, saying this week, “It was a legal play. We're allowed to block him.”
Patriots list 21 on injury report
The Patriots listed 21 players on their final injury report before the AFC championship game against the Broncos.
Receiver Julian Edelman (foot) and tight end Rob Gronkowski are among the 16 listed as questionable. Quarterback Tom Brady (ankle) is listed as probable, along with four other players. The reigning Super Bowl MVP did not miss any practice this week.
The defending champions held their final practice in New England on Friday. They will play the Broncos in Denver on Sunday for a chance to go to Super Bowl 50.
Around the league
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was one of two players to be named Most Improved Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. He shared the award with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, who also had a breakout season in 2015. … John Lynch is the latest addition to the Buccaneers Ring of Honor. The hard-hitting safety played the first 11 seasons of his career with the Bucs.