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Hurt hand prevents Brady from practicing

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Tom Brady hasn't missed many starts during his 18-year NFL career, and no one sounds too worried that he'll be sidelined for Sunday's AFC championship game.

Nonetheless, after Brady sat out the Patriots' practice on Thursday - and did not speak to reporters as scheduled - there was plenty of speculation about the 40-year-old quarterback's health.

Brady sat out with a right-hand injury after being limited by the same issue a day earlier as New England prepares for its matchup with Jacksonville.

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Steelers promote QB coach Fichtner to OC

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Steelers didn't look very far for offensive coordinator Todd Haley's replacement, promoting longtime quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to the position on Thursday, four days after Pittsburgh's season ended with a divisional round playoff loss to Jacksonville.

The Steelers chose not to renew Haley's contract, opening the door for Fichtner to take over one of the league's most dynamic offenses. The 54-year-old Fichtner last called plays while serving as offensive coordinator at Memphis from 2001-06.

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Sarkisian to return as Falcons OC

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Steve Sarkisian will return as the Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator despite a decline in production in his debut 2017 season.

Sarkisian has been the target of criticism as the Falcons, who lost at Philadelphia in the divisional round of the playoffs last week, fell short of a return trip to the Super Bowl.

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Titans begin search with Vrabel, Wilks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans kicked off their search for a new head coach Thursday with a pair of interviews - both defensive coordinators who've never been NFL head coaches.

The Titans confirmed they interviewed Houston's Mike Vrabel and Carolina's Steve Wilks. Tennessee is looking to replace Mike Mularkey, fired Monday after he went 21- 22 and won the franchise's first playoff game in 14 years.

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Fournette good despite injury, accident

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Leonard Fournette was sitting in his wrecked Mercedes-Benz on Interstate-295 earlier this week, waiting for the police to arrive, when he got an unusual request.

One of the first responders wanted Jacksonville's rookie running back to sign something.

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1st-graders offer Jags tips to beat Pats

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has some tips on how to beat the New England Patriots.

And not all of them are from Tom Coughlin.

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Vikes' Sendejo limited due to concussion

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo is working his way back from a concussion that forced him out of the previous game.

Sendejo took part in a limited portion of practice Thursday for the second straight day, after a hit to the head from New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas knocked him to the turf and out of the game. The Vikings beat the Saints to advance to the NFC championship game at Philadelphia.

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Raiders bring back Cable to coach O-line

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Former Raiders head coach Tom Cable is back on the Oakland staff to coach the offensive line.

The team made the announcement that Cable was rejoining the organization as fellow returning head coach Jon Gruden filled out his coaching staff Thursday with the addition of 13 assistants.

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Foles, Keenum's career again crisscross

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Nick Foles contemplated retirement after a miserable season with the Rams in which he ended up losing his starting job to Case Keenum.

That's just one spin of a unique quarterback carousel that'll be on display when Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) host Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings (14-3) in the NFC championship game Sunday.

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Jaguars LB Smith to appeal taunting fine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith is pleading for leniency after being fined $10,000 for taunting Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell during his fumble return for a touchdown last week.

Smith pointed at Bell near the goal line and drew a 15-yard penalty. He says he will appeal the fine.

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