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Jon Gruden Expected To Become Raiders Head Coach

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The Oakland Raiders are expected to bring back one-time head coach Jon Gruden, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

News of Gruden’s path back to the sidelines of the NFL, and the Oakland Raiders, broke over the weekend, but now it seems like a foregone conclusion that Gruden will make a return to head coaching.

ESPN reported Saturday that Raiders owner Mark Davis was prepared to pursue Gruden with a strong offer that could include an ownership stake in the team, although there will be some hurdles to clear in order for that offer to be presented.

The Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio after Sunday’s game.

“I know him,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said Sunday when asked about Jon Gruden. “I’ve known him for a while. But it’s still pretty fresh (with Del Rio being fired).”

“Today was kind of a microcosm of our season,” Del Rio said Sunday of the end of the season for the team. “The opportunities and lack of production really not good enough, really disappointing.”

“He told me he loved me and appreciated all I did to get this program going in the right direction, but that he felt the need to change,” Del Rio said. “I told him how much I appreciated the opportunity he gave me; very grateful, my childhood team.

“But it’s a results business. I understand that.”

Del Rio went 25-23 in his three seasons with the Raiders.

“It hurts when something sucky happens to someone you care about. We weren’t good enough for him,” Carr said after their Week 17 game.

“We have to take our ownership as players and I think that’s where we’re at right now. We’re kind of angry that we let it get to that and we’re upset at ourselves. We understand the business part of it. But as players — I talked with Khalil Mack — our job is to come back better and hungry. We’ve been through some hard times together, and this is right up there with it.”

AFC

Steelers’ James Conner Out, Juju Smith-Schuster Doubtful

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Juju Smith-Schuster

Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back James Connor has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the winless Cincinnati Bengals due to a shoulder injury, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

Compounding issues further, Steelers’ wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster may miss the game as well as “it’s not looking good” for the Steelers’ explosive superstar wide receiver’s status for Sunday’s game.

The Steelers will also be without center Maurkice Pouncey as well, as he is serving a suspension.

 

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Jaguars Sign Nick O’Leary

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Nick O’Leary

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed veteran tight end Nick O’Leary, according to an announcement by SportsTrust Advisors.

O’Leary was cut last month by the Miami Dolphins and will bring some much needed help to the Jags’ tight end corps, which has been riddled by injuries this season, with James O’Shaughnessy and Geoff Swain both on the injures reserve.

O’Leary, 27, was cut from the Dolphins following their Week 8 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game in which O’Leary had a crucial drop.

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AFC

Broncos’ Andy Janovich Out For Season

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Andy Janovich

Denver Broncos’ fullback Andy Janovich will miss the rest of the season after he suffered a dislocated elbow during Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, according to 9News’ Mike Klis.

Janovich agreed to a three-year, $5.7 million contract extension with the Broncos last month, and although fullbacks haven’t been a big part of the NFL game over the past several years, he has been one of the big name’s behind the position’s resurgence recently.

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