Colts coach Jim Caldwell will not second-guess the decision to rest his starters Sunday.
One day after Indianapolis pulled the plug on its perfect season by sitting Peyton Manning and others with 5:36 left in the third quarter of a 15-10 game, the great debate raged in Indianapolis.
NFL purists expressed disappointment that the Colts sidestepped their shot at perfection, losing to the Jets, 29-15. Other analysts suggested the Colts had an obligation to play it straight, and hometown fans expressed their anger on local radio shows.
“I’m one of those guys, can focus in, I can narrow my scope, and once you make a decision you have to live with it,’’ Caldwell said. “Certainly you weigh all the options before. You take a look at all the things that could occur, but once that decision is done you just keep moving.’’
Fox may return
Injury-riddled and out of the playoff race before December, the Panthers seemed certain to have their first season of at least 10 losses under coach John Fox
Instead, they’re playing their best football of the season, just in time for the embattled Fox to have a shot at returning in 2010.
A day after the Panthers (7-8) routed the Giants for their third win in four games, The Charlotte Observer reported Fox and general manager Marty Hurney will be “offered the opportunity to return next season’’ by owner Jerry Richardson.
However, the report yesterday said Fox will not be given a contract extension. He’s due to make more than $6 million in 2010, the last season of his deal.
New Browns president Mike Holmgren
has not decided if coach Eric Mangini
will be back next season. Holmgren, who signed a five-year contract to try and fix the 4-11 Browns, said he will wait until he arrives in Cleveland next week before making any changes. The 61-year-old Holmgren said he will evaluate Mangini’s entire first season in Cleveland, not just the team’s current three-game winning streak . . . The group that monitors the Rooney Rule confirmed the Redskins have interviewed one of the team’s assistants for the head coaching position. Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten
said that secondary coach Jerry Gray
interviewed with owner Dan Snyder
for the job currently held by Jim Zorn
. The news reaffirms the expectation Snyder will fire Zorn next week and replace him quickly.
A person familiar with Channing Crowder’s
foot injury, sustained Sunday, said the Dolphins linebacker is out for the season . . . Eagles offensive lineman Jamaal Jackson
will miss the rest of the season after tearing a knee ligament Sunday vs. Denver . . . Rams running back Steven Jackson,
a surprise scratch for Sunday’s 31-10 loss at Arizona, confirmed he’s been playing with a herniated disk that will not require surgery, and he said he expects to return for St. Louis’s final game . . . Running back Earnest Graham
(toe) and defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson
(knee) will miss Tampa Bay’s season finale after being injured in the upset of the Saints. Ex-Boston College tight end Ryan Purvis
was promoted from the practice squad . . . Pro Bowl picks will be announced today.
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