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A.J. Green Out for Bengals Playoff Game

A.J. Green Out for Bengals Playoff Game

Tom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, In.) -- The Cincinnati Bengals will be without star wide receiver A.J. Green for Sunday's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bengals ruled Green out Saturday with a concussion that he suffered in the fourth quarter of Week 17's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Cincinnati lost to Indianapolis 27-0 in Week 7 earlier this season.  Green missed that game as well. 

Green has struggled with injuries this season, missing four games due to a toe injury and was limited in a game against Denver with an arm injury.

In spite of this he led the Bengals with 69 catches, 1,041 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

This is Cincinnati’s fourth straight appearance in the Wild Card Playoffs, but they have lost the last three.

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Lions Prepare for Cowboys in First Playoff Appearance Since 2012

Lions Prepare for Cowboys in First Playoff Appearance Since 2012

Leon Halip/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- The Detroit Lions are 7-11 all-time in the playoffs and will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys on Sunday in the wild-card round.

Detroit is making their first appearance in the playoffs since the 2011 season, which was the first playoff appearance for quarterback Matthew Stafford.

"Obviously I've got a ton more experience," Stafford said.  "I've played in a lot more football games.  I'd like to think that I'm probably a little bit better at doing what it takes to win games and not just throw for a million yards and touchdowns."

Stafford will also be making his return to Dallas where he grew up.

"It's always fun to go back there and play," Stafford said of seeing his family members.  "It'll be fun."

The last time the Lions won a playoff game was when running back Barry Sanders was patrolling the field against Dallas on Jan. 5, 1992.

"I don't need much motivation, it's a playoff game," Stafford said of breaking their skid.  "Win or go home gives you enough motivation."

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Saints Fire Three Assistants, Rob Ryan Awaits Future

Saints Fire Three Assistants, Rob Ryan Awaits Future

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) -- The New Orleans Saints fired three assistant coaches on Friday and the future of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan remains to be seen.

New Orleans parted ways with tight ends coach Terry Malone, receivers coach Henry Ellard and assistant secondary coach Andre Curtis, the NFL Network reports.

"My family and I have loved making New Orleans our home for past nine years," the longtime coach Malone said in a statement Saturday. "We have always felt like part of the family with the Saints, in the community, in the schools and in our Catholic Church. Never dreamed we would have all four of our kids graduate from high school here, two LSU grads and a Super Bowl experience ... The Malones are truly blessed! Now we start our next chapter, but will always consider Nola home. God Bless."

The Saints defense finished 31st in points allowed under Ryan's watch and failed to make the playoffs.

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Eagles Name Chip Kelly Head of Player Personnel

Eagles Name Chip Kelly Head of Player Personnel

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Eagles assigned head coach Chip Kelly as the new person to oversee player personnel on Friday.

Kelly takes over for Tom Cable, who was let go on Wednesday and Howie Roseman has been promoted from general manager to executive vice president of football operations.

"I have a very good relationship with Chip that continues to grow stronger and stronger. When we spoke, he was thoughtful, thorough and professional," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said on Friday.  "There were no demands, no threats -- quite the contrary, he was passionate, engaged and articulated a dynamic and clear vision on how this fully integrated approach will work. We look forward to seeing it come to life over time."

Kelly will also be in charge of replacing Cable, who was the vice president of player personnel.

"You have heard me say many times that I want strong leaders who feel free to express their opinions," Lurie said. "And that is what happened here. Chip will now lead this process going forward with the continued full support of Howie, Don and myself.

"Chip will not be doing this work by himself, obviously," Lurie continued.  "He has been charged with recruiting and hiring a new personnel executive that will report directly to him and together we will move forward with this new, highly integrated approach."

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Arians Names Lindley Starter for Playoff Game Vs. Panthers

Arians Names Lindley Starter for Playoff Game Vs. Panthers

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians announced after Thursday's practice that Ryan Lindley will start the team's playoff game Saturday against the Carolina Panthers. "Ryan will start at quarterback. Drew (Stanton) is not going to be able to play," Arians said. Lindley is 0-2 this season as a starter and is 1-5 during his career. Stanton is out for his third straight game due to a right knee injury. Only seven quarterbacks since 1970 have started a playoff game with one or fewer regular season wins as a starter. The last one of those to win a game was the Houston Oilers Gifford Nielson in 1979. In the three games Lindley has participated in this season, he's completed 45 of 93 passes for 562 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

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Ravens Head of Security Charged with Sex Offense

Ravens Head of Security Charged with Sex Offense

National Football League(OWINGS MILLS, Md.) -- Baltimore Ravens head of security Darren Sanders was charged Tuesday night with a fourth degree sexual offense, according to law enforcement.

Sanders, a former Baltimore police homicide detective who has been a member of the Ravens organization for more than ten years, is accused of groping a woman and pressing against her inside the stadium after a December game.

ESPN reports that Sanders has been put on paid leave, which is in line with the NFL's personal conduct policy. He also won't travel with the team when they head to Pittsburgh for the team's first playoff game against the Steelers on Saturday.

If convicted, Sanders could face a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. His lawyer denies the claims. A hearing is set for Feb. 9.

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Suh Wins Appeal, Will Play Against Dallas

Suh Wins Appeal, Will Play Against Dallas

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A day after being suspended for Detroit's upcoming wild card game against Dallas, Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh won his appeal and will play in the teams playoff game on Sunday.

The decision, handed down by appeals officer Ted Cottrell, came on Tuesday but also carried with it some bad news.

Suh was fined $70,000 for stepping on the injured leg of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Sunday's regular season finale. Cottrell agreed with league official Merton Hanks that Suh violated the player-safety policy but opted to reduce the penalty instead of uphold it.

"The only thing I can say is if you step on something in your everyday life or if you step on somebody on the field, the first reaction seems to be looking back and maybe apologizing with your hands or maybe pulling your foot back right away, and I'm just not sure that's what happened on Sunday," Rodgers said Tuesday.

The four-time Pro Bowler may also have a new guideline to thank for his ability to compete in the postseason. Due to a modified repeat offender policy, players are taken off the "repeat offender" list 32 weeks after their previous violation. For Suh, that came in Week 1 of 2013 when he was fined $100,000 for an illegal chop block on Minnesota Vikings player John Sullivan. The 32-week reprieve game after Week 16, and included two preseason games.

In his five seasons, Suh has been penalized 38 times, more than any other player in the NFL since 2010, and has also been fined in excess of $200,000.

The Lions visit the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in the NFC's wild card round. It is the first postseason appearance by Detroit since 2011.

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ESPN: Steelers Expected to Sign Running Back Ben Tate

ESPN: Steelers Expected to Sign Running Back Ben Tate

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With the status of running back LeVeon Bell uncertain for the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to sign free agent running back Ben Tate, according to ESPN.

Bell suffered a hyperextended knee during the team's win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. While the injury could have been much worse, the team is unsure when he'll be able to hit the field again.

The Steelers will be the third team Tate's suited up for this season.

The 26-year-old Tate spent the first three seasons of his career with the Houston Texans. He ran for 942 yards his rookie year in 2011 and looked like he could be a feature back while he backup up Pro Bowler Arian Foster.

Tate signed with the Cleveland Browns during this past offseason. He wound up struggling, running for 333 yards on 106 carries before being cut midseason.

The Minnesota Vikings pickup him up, but he had just 38 rushing yards on 13 carries, and was again cut.

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Browns QB Johnny Manziel Denies Report of Party

Browns QB Johnny Manziel Denies Report of Party

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BEREA, Ohio) -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel denied a report on Monday that he missed his treatment appointment with the team on Saturday because he threw a party with his teammates.

The Browns had to send their security personnel to his home on Saturday morning after he failed to show up at team headquarters to have his injured hamstring worked on. He told the team that he had overslept.

“I feel like because the perception that I base around myself, and I’ve done this to myself, that was allowed to be reported, and people were allowed to just nod their head and act like that went on, when in fact it was completely untrue,” Manziel said.

The Browns suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon for the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens after he missed the team walk-through. Initial reports stated that Gordon was with Manziel at the party.

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Bears Fire Head Coach Marc Trestman and GM Phil Emery

Bears Fire Head Coach Marc Trestman and GM Phil Emery

Dilip/Vishwanat/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Marc Trestman's short but rocky tenure with the Chicago Bears ended on Monday. The team has fired him after just two seasons on the job, along with general manager Phil Emery.

Trestman was billed as an offensive guru after he was a successful assistant coach in the NFL as well as a head coach in the CFL. He had won two Grey Cups in the CFL as a head coach during his time with the Montreal Alouettes.

Despite his credentials, the Bears' offense struggled mightily this season, ranking 21st overall in total offense. The defense fared worse, ranking 30th in NFL this past season.

Trestman went 8-8 in his first year with the team, but went just 5-11 in 2014.

It wasn't all Trestman's fault, as Emery failed to adequately build the roster back up following the firing of Lovie Smith. He came under fire for the team's poor defense along with the massive extension to quarterback Jay Cutler, who struggled mightily this season and was even benched at one point.

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Falcons Fire Head Coach Mike Smith

Falcons Fire Head Coach Mike Smith

David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After seven seasons on the job, the Atlanta Falcons have fired head coach Mike Smith.

Despite heading into Sunday's game at 6-9, they had a chance to win the NFC South against the Carolina Panthers. They wound up losing 34-4, and that was the final straw for Smith in Atlanta.

"Smitty's contributions to our club, team and city over the last seven years are numerous," team owner Arthur Blank said in a release. "His accomplishments on the field made him the most successful coach in the 49-year history of the Falcons, and we are grateful for the foundation he has laid for us for the future."

Smith won double-digit games in four of his first five seasons in Atlanta, including a 13-3 record in 2012.

The team experienced little playoff success despite the team going 66-46 under Smith. Atlanta made the playoffs four times under Smith, but went just 1-4 in the postseason.

Smith is the Falcons' all-time coaching wins leader.

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Jets Fire Head Coach Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik

Jets Fire Head Coach Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(FLORHAM PARK, N.J.) -- The Rex Ryan era is over in New York. The team informed Ryan that he will not be brought back as their head coach in 2015, along with general manager John Idzik.

"Both Rex and John made significant contributions to the team, and they have my appreciation and gratitude for their efforts and commitment. Over the years, Rex brought the Jets a bold confidence and a couple of great postseason runs, which all of us will remember," team owner Woody Johnson said in a statement.

Ryan took over the team prior to the 2009 season and experienced immediate success. He made the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons with Mark Sanchez starting at quarterback.

The Jets and Ryan struggled to keep up in the AFC. The team never won more than eight games in a single season after 2010.

Overall, Ryan went 46-50 as the team's head coach in the regular season, but 4-2 in the postseason.

Idzik came under fire for his poor drafting and personnel decisions since being hired in 2013.

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Rodgers Leaves Game, Returns to Lead Packers to Division Title

Rodgers Leaves Game, Returns to Lead Packers to Division Title

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(GREEN BAY, Wis.) -- The Detroit Lions couldn't hold down Aaron Rodgers.Rodgers was carted to the locker room in the second quarter after tweaking his previously injured left calf, but returned in the second half to throw and run for a touchdown and lead the Green Bay Packers to a 30-20 win over the Lions Sunday, clinching the NFC North title.The win also clinches the Packers (12-4) a first-round bye and the number-two seed in the NFC.After missing the first series of the third quarter, Rodgers returned to lead the Packers on a 75-yard scoring drive that ended with him throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb.Despite the loss, the Lions (11-5) are still playoff bound and will take on the Cowboys in Dallas next week.Matthew Stafford completed only 20 of his 41 passes but threw for three touchdowns in the loss.It's the Packers' fourth-straight NFC North championship.

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Panthers Crush Falcons to Win NFC South

Panthers Crush Falcons to Win NFC South

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Tre Boston and Roman Harper both had pick-6s, and Cam Newton ran and threw for a touchdown as the Carolina Panthers humiliated the Atlanta Falcons 34-3 Sunday to win the NFC South.The Panthers (7-8-1) become the first team since 2010 to make the playoffs with a losing record."The beautiful thing -- record doesn't matter," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. "That's the best part."The Panthers hurried Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throughout the game, pressuring him on 21 of his passes and sacking him six times.The Falcons (6-10) would have made the playoffs with a win but couldn't get anything going offensively.  Star receiver Julio Jones only had four catches for 58 yards.Carolina returns to the playoffs for the second straight season and improves its record in December to 15-3 under coach Rivera.

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Broncos Roll Past Raiders, Clinch 2 Seed in AFC

Broncos Roll Past Raiders, Clinch 2 Seed in AFC

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(DENVER) -- C.J. Anderson ran for three touchdowns to help the Denver Broncos earn a first-round bye in the AFC Playoffs by knocking off the Oakland Raiders 47-14 Sunday.For the second time in four weeks Peyton Manning did not throw a touchdown pass, but it didn't stop the Broncos from clinching the AFC's No. 2 seed.The Broncos (12-4) were rolling from the beginning, scoring on their first two drives of the game and leading at halftime 20-7.The Broncos offense put up 451 total yards while holding the Raiders to 199 yards.Peyton Manning completed 21 of 37 passes for 273 yards before being taken out of the game for backup Brock Osweiler.Osweiler threw the first touchdown pass of his three-year career when he found Virgil Green for a one-yard score.Connor Barth kicked four field goals in the win.Derrick Carr completed 18 of 36 passes for 158 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Raiders (3-13) in the loss.

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Seahawks Hold Back Rams to Wrap Up Top Seed in NFC

Seahawks Hold Back Rams to Wrap Up Top Seed in NFC

Steve Dykes/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The Seattle Seahawks held the St. Louis Rams to 245 total yards of offense en route to a 20-6 win Sunday.The Seahawks (12-4) secure the top seed in the NFC playoffs for the second-straight season.The Rams (6-10) actually led 6-0 at halftime, but the Seahawks scored 20 unanswered points, topped off by a Bruce Irvin 49-yard interception return for a touchdown.Marshawn Lynch ran for 60 yards and a touchdown in the win.Seattle finishes the regular season on a six-game win streak, during which it held five of its six opponents to less than 10 points.

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49ers, Jim Harbaugh, Part Ways Following Win Over Cardinals

49ers, Jim Harbaugh, Part Ways Following Win Over Cardinals

Ralph Freso/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh parted ways after their 20-17 win over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Harbaugh spent the last four years in San Francisco and led them to three NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance.

Harbaugh has an offer from Michigan on the table and could take the job, reports ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.

"Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions," said 49ers CEO Jed York. "We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best."

Harbaugh said during the post-game press conference that it has been the "time of my life" coaching the 49ers.

"For the last four seasons I have had the great privilege to coach one of the storied franchises in the history of football," said Harbaugh. "We accomplished many great things together as a team during this period, which is a tribute to the incredible efforts of some of the most dedicated players and coaches in the NFL. I will miss competing alongside this group of players and coaches, I have the utmost respect and admiration for their hard work and support. It has been my honor to share the sideline with these mighty men. I will always appreciate and remember fondly, the passion and support of our faithful fans, and want to express my particular thanks to them."

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Falcons Hold Off Browns 20-10, Clinch Playoff Berth

Falcons Hold Off Browns 20-10, Clinch Playoff Berth

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Baltimore Ravens are in the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years after a 20-10 win over the Browns on Sunday.

Baltimore needed the Chiefs to beat the Chargers for them to get in and Kansas City handed San Diego a 19-7 loss.

Joe Flacco tossed two touchdown passes and threw for 312 yards in the victory.

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Report: Harbaugh Will Accept Michigan Job

Report: Harbaugh Will Accept Michigan Job

Ralph Freso/Getty Images(ANN ARBOR, Mi) -- Jim Harbaugh has decided to return to the college coaching ranks.

According to Dave Feldman of CSN Bay Area, Harbaugh will return to his alma mater to revive the University of Michigan football program.

Harbaugh is technically still the coach of the 49ers but after the relationship between the fiery head coach and General Manager Trent Baalke turned sour it has long been rumored that there would be a change.

Harbaugh was 43-19-1 while with the 49ers, including three NFC championship appearances and a 34-31 loss to the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

Michigan has struggled over the past seven years under the leadership of Rich Rodriguez and most recently Brady Hoke, mounting a 46-42 record in that span. 

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Browns Suspend WR Gordon

Browns Suspend WR Gordon

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(CLEVELAND, OH) -- The Cleveland Browns has suspended Josh Gordon for the regular season finale against the Baltimore Ravens.

Gordon was placed on the reserve/suspended list Saturday after missing a team walkthrough.

Before the latest suspension, Gordon missed the first 11 games of the season after testing positive for marijuana under the NFL's substance abuse policy.

He struggled to acclimate to the new offense in Cleveland and posted 24 catches for 303 touchdowns, with no touchdowns.  

In a corresponding move, the team promoted wide receiver Phil Bates from the practice squad.

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