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NFL notebook: Doctor says Colts' Pagano in 'complete remission' from leukemia

| Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, 8:02 p.m.
Fans sit behind a banner bearing the message '#ChuckStrong,' which is in support of Colts coach Chuck Pagano's battle with leukemia, during the second half against the Dolphins in Indianapolis on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. On Monday, Nov. 5, Dr. Larry Cripe, Pagano's physician, told The Associated Press that the illness that has sidelined Pagano for more than a month was in 'complete remission.' AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Colts coach Chuck Pagano is winning his battle with leukemia.

On Monday, Dr. Larry Cripe, Pagano's physician, told The Associated Press that the illness which has sidelined Indy's head coach for more than a month was in “complete remission.” Cripe said a morning exam showed Pagano's white blood cell count and bone marrow tests were normal as he prepares to start a second round of chemotherapy.

The doctor explained patients typically undergo three rounds of treatment to wipe out any potentially lingering cancer cells. The second round of chemo is scheduled to start later this week and will last four to six weeks, Cripe said.

“His (blood cell) count was great,” interim coach Bruce Arians told reporters after Pagano visited the team complex Monday. “He knows that this next one (round) is going to be really tough and we're praying for him, and he's going to be fine.”

Payton a free agent

Dismissing speculation that he might be interested in Sean Payton, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he has “a lot of faith” in coach Jason Garrett and has no idea if the suspended New Orleans Saints coach might be available next season.

Payton was suspended for the season by the NFL for his role in the bounty scandal. The league has taken issue with a clause in the contract extension he agreed to more than a year ago, which was to have kept him in New Orleans through 2015.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking to reporters before the Cowboys lost to the Falcons on Sunday night, said he does not know if Payton might become a coaching free agent after the season.

Jones-Drew out again

The Jaguars will be without running back Maurice Jones-Drew for Thursday night's game against Indianapolis.

Coach Mike Mularkey ruled Jones-Drew out Monday, no surprise since he's still wearing a walking boot on his sprained left foot and using a push cart to get around the facility.

Jones-Drew has missed the last two games, both after injuring his foot on the first play against Oakland on Oct. 21. Rashad Jennings will continue to start in Jones-Drew's place.

TD a mistake

The NFL said Monday that a 30-yard touchdown run by Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams against the Redskins should not have counted because of an inadvertent whistle.

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