National Football League roundup

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[December 29, 2015]  Dec 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer is in the final stage of the concussion protocol and will start Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars if he is cleared in time, coach Bill O'Brien said Monday.

Brandon Weeden completed 15 of 24 passes with two touchdown throws and no interceptions in the Texans' 34-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, but Hoyer will be back in the starting lineup if things progress as expected.

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Indianapolis placed quarterback Charlie Whitehurst on injured reserve with a pulled hamstring, meaning the Colts will likely turn to their number four QB for Sunday's game against Tennessee.

Whitehurst was in line to start, because Matt Hasselbeck suffered a shoulder injury in last Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

Andrew Luck is still recovering from a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle he sustained on Nov. 10.

That leaves Stephen Morris as the lone healthy quarterback. He was signed off the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad last week and has never appeared in an NFL game.

 

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Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece has been suspended four games without pay for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the NFL announced.

Reese will miss Oakland's final regular-season contest and the first three games of the 2016 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl but is no longer eligible to participate in the game.

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Six wins likely will not be enough for Tom Coughlin to save his job with the New York Giants.

Quarterback Eli Manning said on a conference call Monday that he was concerned this could be the end for Coughlin.

"I wanted to do my job and do my job well and get into the playoffs and have a big season so he could continue being the head coach, because I have such respect for him and he's the only coach I've had in the NFL," Manning said.

"In that sense, I feel disappointed that I wasn't able to play at a better level for him."

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady defended coach Bill Belichick's decision to kick off at the start of overtime in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the New York Jets.

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Although the move backfired on the team, Brady pointed out that the offense had not played well against the Jets.

"I think when Coach makes decisions like that, he takes everything into consideration, everything that's happened over the course of the afternoon. He obviously did what he thought was best to help the team win," Brady said on WEEI radio in Boston.

"As far as an offense goes, I said after the game, it wasn't like we were really tracking the ball up and down the field. It's hard to inspire your coach when you don't do much offensively all day."

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The Patriots released running back Joey Iosefa, the club announced. Iosefa, 24, played in two games for the Patriots and had 51 yards on 15 carries.

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The wife of Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes went on a Twitter rant against quarterback Ryan Tannehill and others after Sunday's 18-12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Miko Grimes, the wife of Grimes, said on Twitter: "I knew this qb stunk the minute we signed to this team but I tried to keep quiet so I didn't discourage bae from believing in his team.

Of Tannehill, she tweeted: "I should've known we were gonna lose when I heard we didn't complete a single pass in two minute drills this week against the practice squad defense. My Column: how many people does Ryan Tannehill have to get fired before you realize he's the problem."

Her Twitter account was suspended later in the day.

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