NFL Wire News

NFL roundup: Suh suspension overturned


Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh had his one-game suspension and fine rescinded Tuesday by the NFL, clearing him to be on the field for Sunday’s NFC wild-card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Suh appealed the suspension and $70,000 fine for stepping on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ leg during Sunday’s regular-season finale.

There was some debate whether Suh’s actions were accidental or intentional, but NFL hearing officer Tedd Cottrell, who was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players Association, sided with Suh. Suh had been suspended Monday by NFL vice president for football operations Merton Hanks after ruling that Suh violated player safety rules prohibiting unnecessary roughness.

—Jedd Fisch is out as Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator after the offense finished last and next-to-last in the NFL in total yards the past two seasons.

The Jaguars (3-13) averaged 15.6 points and 290 yards per game this season. The 38-year-old Fisch was privately criticized by some players for his play-calling and also for his handling of rookie quarterback Blake Bortles.

According to insiders, fired Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman could be a candidate for the offensive coordinator job. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley and Trestman are close friends.

—The New York Giants confirmed Tuesday that coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese will be back in 2015.

Coughlin has won two Super Bowl with the Giants, but the team has missed the playoffs the past three seasons.

The Giants finished the season with a 6-10 record that president and CEO John Mara Mara called embarrassing. They opened the season 3-2 but lost their next seven games.

—Ben Tate joined his third team in seven weeks when he signed with the running back-needy Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday.

The Steelers are hurting at the position with Pro Bowl featured back Le’Veon Bell expected to miss Sunday’s wild-card game with a hyperextended knee. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that Bell has no structural damage to the knee and went on to say he’s not ruling Bell out this weekend.

To make room on the roster for Tate, the Steelers waived wide receiver Justin Brown.

Tate was released by the Cleveland Browns in November. He had a season-high 25 carries against the Steelers on Oct. 12, gaining 78 yards and scoring twice. Tate was claimed by the Minnesota Vikings on waivers but had only 13 carries for 38 yards in five games before he was waived again.

—Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer expressed his hope that Adrian Peterson will return to the team upon his reinstatement by the NFL.

Peterson was suspended on Nov. 18 for the remainder of the 2014 season by commissioner Roger Goodell after he was indicted two months earlier in a case involving corporal punishment with his son. The suspension was upheld on Dec. 12 by an arbitrator after the NFL Players Association challenged the punishment as unfair.

“Adrian was always great with me. I think he’s a good person,” Zimmer said Tuesday. “I think obviously he’s a great running back, and if it works out that way and things work out and he gets his life in order — that’s the most important thing, he gets his life in order, he gets the opportunity to come back — then I will be in his corner whatever the decision is made.”

—The Vikings signed nine players to reserve/futures contracts on Tuesday.

Players who were not on a team’s active roster at the end of the regular season, including the practice squad, are eligibile to be signed for 2015 even though the league year does not begin until March. Minnesota signed linebacker Justin Anderson, wide receiver Kain Colter, quarterback Pat Devlin, defensive tackle Isame Faciane, wide receiver Donte Foster, center Zac Kerin, offensive guard Jordan McCray, tight end Ryan Otten and running back Dominique Williams.

—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers talked about his injury on Tuesday, saying he initially thought he had a serious problem with his leg.

Rodgers came into Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Lions with a left calf muscle pull from the previous week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“My initial thought was I popped my Achilles,” Rodgers said Tuesday during his radio show in Milwaukee. “That’s why I kind of stayed down. It was a very painful sensation.”

It turned out that Rodgers reinjured the calf muscle, but he’s hoping to be fully healed before a Jan. 11 NFC divisional playoff game. The Packers received a first-round bye after beating the Lions and securing the NFC North title.

— Add Pat Shurmur’s name to the list of candidates competing with interim coach Tony Sparano to become head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

Shurmur is offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles and has head-coaching experience with the Cleveland Browns, going 9-23.

Owner Mark Davis said the Raiders had begun making requests of teams with byes in the playoffs to interview prospective candidates, declining to name them. Among other coaches who could be targets include Denver coordinators Adam Gase (offense) and Jack Del Rio (defense), Green Bay offensive coordinator Tom Clements, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

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