HEADLINE

NFL notebook: Bills fire offensive coordinator Dennison

The Sports Xchange

January 12, 2018 at 6:55 pm.

The Buffalo Bills fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison after just one season, the team announced Friday.

The move comes one week after the Bills made their first playoff appearance in 18 years. They failed to score a touchdown and mustered 263 yards (133 passing, 130 rushing) in that outing en route to a 10-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

The 2018 season will mark the fourth offensive coordinator change for the Bills since 2014.

–Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was sent home from practice with an illness, the team announced.

While Brown was absent on Friday, cornerback Artie Burns (knee) and defensive end Stephon Tuitt (elbow) were full participants in practice. All three are expected to play in Sunday’s divisional-round game versus the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.

–Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio agreed to a three-year deal to remain with the Chicago Bears, and former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was officially named the Bears offensive coordinator, the team announced.

The Bears also named Chris Tabor as special teams coordinator, Charles London as running backs coach and Mike Furrey as wide receivers coach.

–The Carolina Panthers hired Norv Turner as their offensive coordinator, the team announced.

Turner interviewed with the Panthers last week and will take over for Mike Shula, who was fired on Tuesday. He returns to the coaching ranks for the first time since stepping down as offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings in November 2016.

–The Oakland Raiders made it official by announcing the hires of Greg Olson and Paul Guenther as the team’s offensive and defensive coordinators under new coach Jon Gruden.

Olson returns to the franchise for which he served as offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014. He was the quarterbacks coach of the Los Angeles Rams last season.

Guenther spent the past 14 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, serving as their defensive coordinator since 2014.

–Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he is unsure if quarterback Sam Bradford will dress for Sunday’s divisional matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

Zimmer told reporters that Bradford is working his way with the other quarterbacks but “has a ways to go” after completing his fifth practice since returning last week while competing for practice time with Teddy Bridgewater.

Bradford underwent knee surgery on Nov. 7 and was placed on injured reserve.

Also, Vikings cornerback Terrance Newman was limited in practice as he deals with a foot injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

–New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandon Coleman was ruled out of Sunday’s NFC divisional round playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. Coleman did not practice all week due to a neck injury.

He had four catches for 44 yards last week against Carolina.

Saints linebacker Michael Mauti and third-string quarterback Taysom Hill also did not practice Friday and were both listed as questionable due to illness.

–The Tennessee Titans’ team flight to Boston for Saturday night’s playoff game was delayed about three hours in Nashville.

The delay was caused by an incident involving another plane that slid off the runway at Nashville International Airport, although a spokesperson for the airport said weather was not a factor, per the Tennessean.

–Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Daviss told Brooke Cersosimo of NFL Media that the 2018 season will be his last in the NFL.

Davis, who turns 35 in March, had said this week that he expects his role to be reduced next season, and he anticipated that it would be reduced further in 2019.

–The Denver Broncos could be in the market for a quarterback again — and it appears Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield is on their radar.

With Broncos head coach Vance Joseph and his staff running the North Team in the Senior Bowl, Denver’s brass requested Mayfield be placed on the North squad, Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage told ESPNU SiriusXM Radio.

The Broncos own the No. 5 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

–New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell has been practicing for a few weeks, but he will not play in Saturday’s playoff game against the Tennessee Titans.

New England did not activate Mitchell to its 53-man roster on Friday, per the NFL transaction wire.

Mitchell has missed the entire season after being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury before the regular-season opener.

–The Kansas City Chiefs hired Deland McCullough as their running backs coach, the team announced. McCullough served as USC’s running backs coach/running game coordinator this past season.

–The Cincinnati Bengals added three assistant coaches, naming Alex Van Pelt as quarterbacks coach, Daronte Jones as cornerbacks coach and Matt Raich as defensive assistant.

–Matt Hasselbeck will replace Jon Gruden on ESPN’s telecast of the Pro Bowl, the network announced.

Hasselbeck will join play-by-play broadcaster Sean McDonough as well as sideline reporter Lisa Salters for the game on Jan. 28. The move could be considered a tryout for the Monday Night Football analyst job that has been left vacant since Gruden was hired as coach of the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday.

–The Cleveland Browns hired Ken Zampese as quarterbacks coach and Adam Henry as wide receivers coach.

The move capped a week of changes on Cleveland’s coaching staff after the team went 0-16.

–The NFL has launched an investigation into whether the Oakland Raiders violated the Rooney Rule during their hiring of Jon Gruden as head coach.

The Fitz Pollard Alliance, an advocacy group that promotes diversity in NFL front offices and coaching staffs, asked the NFL to investigate whether the Raiders reached an agreement with Gruden before interviewing minority candidates.

–Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was named as a replacement for Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers on the AFC roster for the upcoming Pro Bowl, the team announced.