Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says he has not made any decision about who will coach his team next season.
Shortly after ESPN reported Thursday that the team planned to fire Coach Chuck Pagano on Monday, Irsay issued a one-sentence statement.
“As of today, no decision has been made with respect to any structural changes within the Colts organization for 2016 and beyond,” Irsay said.
It might not take him long to go public with that decision following the regular-season finale Sunday against Tennessee.
Speculation has swirled for months around Pagano, who declined to take a one-year contract extension last off-season before his contract expires at the end of this season. And there have been rumors of a rift between Pagano and General Manager Ryan Grigson all season too. Grigson has one year left on his original contract.
Pagano was not available Thursday after practice and his agent did not respond to an email for comment.
The Colts can still make the playoffs with a win over Tennessee and a Houston loss, and if the results of seven other games fall in line — wins by Buffalo, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Oakland and Pittsburgh.
It’s a long list, and nearly all of it is out of Indy’s control.
“I’m worried about one,” Pagano said Wednesday. “I’m worried about Tennessee. We’ve got to do our job. We’ve got to do our part.”
Manziel ruled out
The second season of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has officially ended, and the coaching staff wants him to spend the off-season addressing his off-field issues.
Browns Coach Mike Pettine formally ruled out Manziel for Sunday’s season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers after Manziel was diagnosed Wednesday with a concussion suffered last weekend in a 17-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pettine and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo also stressed they want Manziel to work on his personal issues in the off-season.
Coughlin tap dances
Tom Coughlin isn’t saying whether he wants to return as coach of the New York Giants. The 69-year-old coach on Thursday sidestepped a direct question whether he wanted to come back for a 13th season after the Giants missed the playoffs for the fourth season in a row.
All week, Coughlin has insisted his focus had been on the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has been disappointed his players have been asked repeatedly to comment on his future.
When asked how he would feel walking off the field at MetLife Stadium, he brushed the question aside.
“I’m focused on the game, I don’t go that way,” said Coughlin, who has led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles. “I’m not thinking about any of that stuff.”
A person with direct knowledge of discussions has told the Associated Press that the Buffalo Bills plan to cut high-priced defensive end Mario Williams this off-season. Williams has two years left on the six-year, $100-million contract he signed in free agency in 2012.
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to start Sunday’s regular-season finale at Dallas, though Coach Jay Gruden wouldn’t say how much his top players will stay in the game. The Redskins have clinched the NFC East title. Gruden said after practice Thursday that “all our guys are starting,” and added that “how I substitute throughout the course of the game will be dependent on how we’re doing healthwise and the situation of the game.”
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick fully participated in practice after being limited Wednesday because of a sore thumb, elbow and lower back. Neither Fitzpatrick nor Coach Todd Bowles were concerned about the quarterback’s availability for the Jets’ game at Buffalo, but it eased any potential doubts to see him take part in all drills Thursday.