January 17, 2014 in Sports

NFL notes: Brady returns following illness

Associated Press
 

No sniffles, no coughs, no watery eyes.

Patriots fans can breathe easy now that Tom Brady is back at practice

“Doing very well, thank you,” the quarterback who will lead New England into the AFC championship game said Thursday.

Brady was removed from the injury report one day after being a no-show at practice because of illness. And teammates weren’t concerned that the lost time would affect him Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

“The most important thing is that he’s healthy and that he’s ready to go,” running back Shane Vereen said. “He’s been doing this for a long time, so he’s the last one that I’m really worried about.”

Brady wouldn’t say what his illness was – “It was nothing. I feel great. Nothing at all.” – and didn’t think his one-day absence would set him back.

The day before the AFC championship game in January 2005, Brady had a sore throat and a fever of 103. Then he had the highest passer rating (130.5) in his eight playoff games to that point, all victories. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards and two TDs in a 41-27 win at Pittsburgh, where the temperature was 11 degrees with a wind chill of minus-1.

Two weeks after that win, the Patriots beat Philadelphia for their third Super Bowl championship in four years.

Vikings target Turner

The Minnesota Vikings have targeted Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator under new coach Mike Zimmer.

Turner told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview that he and Zimmer have been talking about the job. Turner said nothing was finalized but “hopefully it works out.”

Turner has 15 years as an NFL head coach on his resume, including from 2007-12 with San Diego. He spent last season as the offensive coordinator for Cleveland. Bill Musgrave has been Minnesota’s offensive coordinator the last three years under coach Leslie Frazier.

Jets extend Ryan

The New York Jets have signed coach Rex Ryan to a contract extension, removing the lame duck label and keeping him with the franchise for at least the next two years.

Ryan was rewarded with the extension, removing the specter of him heading into next season without a contract beyond 2014. Ryan went 8-8 this season with a 42-38 record in the regular season over five years, going 4-2 in the postseason.

Around the league

The Buffalo Bills hired Jeff Hafley as a defensive assistant coach. Hafley spent the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and coached the team’s safeties last year. He has 11 years of experience as a college assistant, including stints at Pittsburgh and Rutgers. … Kirk Olivadotti is returning to the Washington Redskins as inside linebackers coach, and new coach Jay Gruden is retaining Raheem Morris as defensive backs coach and Jacob Burney as defensive line coach. Morris and Gruden worked together on Tampa Bay’s staff. … Cincinnati promoted linebackers coach Paul Guenther to defensive coordinator. The Bengals finished with the No. 3 defense last season.

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