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Sammy Watkins of Kansas City Chiefs expected to play vs. Indianapolis Colts

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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins, questionable for Saturday’s divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts due to a foot injury, is expected to play, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Watkins has played in just one game since injuring his right foot in Week 9 against the Cleveland Browns.

His foot was heavily taped in practice this week and he was limited, but he was able to practice. Coach Andy Reid said Watkins got good work in Thursday.

When healthy, Watkins has been a contributor to the Chiefs’ high-powered offense, with 40 catches, 519 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games.

The Chiefs will host the Colts on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. ET.

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Chicago Bears name Chuck Pagano defensive coordinator

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears named former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano defensive coordinator on Friday night.

Pagano replaces veteran defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who became the head coach of the Denver Broncos on Thursday.

“We are excited to add Chuck to our staff as defensive coordinator,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said in a statement. “He has successful experience at many different levels in this league and he is a great teacher with an aggressive mentality that fits our style of football. He is a man of high character and has a passion for the game that will no doubt add to the culture we have already started building at Halas Hall.”

Pagano coached the Colts for six years (2012-17), leading Indianapolis to two AFC South championships (2013, 2014) and three consecutive playoff appearances (2012-14). Pagano was fired with a 53-43 regular-season record and a 3-3 mark in the postseason.

Prior to accepting the Colts’ head-coaching job, Pagano served as the Baltimore Ravens‘ defensive coordinator in 2011. Pagano coached the Ravens’ secondary from 2008 to 2010.

Pagano was a consultant for the NFL last year.

A 16-year NFL coaching veteran, Pagano takes over arguably the league’s best defense.

The Bears ranked No. 1 in the NFL in takeaways (36), interceptions (27), interception returns for touchdowns (five), fewest rushing touchdowns (five), lowest passer rating (72.9) and fewest total plays allowed of 20-plus yards (46) in 2018.

Additionally, Chicago set a franchise record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a 16-game season. The Bears had four defenders voted to the Pro Bowl (Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, Akiem Hicks and Kyle Fuller), all of whom are under contract for the foreseeable future.

The Bears interviewed secondary coach Ed Donatell on Thursday for the defensive coordinator opening before settling on Pagano. Donatell could follow Fangio to Denver, along with several other Chicago assistants on the defensive side of the ball.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers hire former USC Trojans running backs coach Todd McNair who sued NCAA

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TAMPA, Fla. — Former USC running-backs coach Todd McNair, who spent the past seven years fighting the NCAA over the Reggie Bush scandal and lost, will return to coaching in 2018 as the running backs coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday.

McNair’s hiring was first reported by Pewter Report.

In a high-profile defamation lawsuit, McNair accused the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions of destroying his coaching career when it found him guilty of unethical conduct when Bush accepted improper benefits at USC, where McNair coached for six seasons and helped guide Bush to a Heisman Trophy in 2005.

McNair has not coached at the college or NFL level since 2010, but has been coaching high school football in Sun Valley, California.

A four-year NCAA investigation concluded that McNair knew or should have known that Bush had accepted $280,000 worth of improper benefits. McNair claimed he had no knowledge of Bush or his family accepting those benefits.

McNair’s attorneys argued that the NCAA tried to make an example out of him. He testified that after he lost his job at USC, his wife, Lynette, took a job as a parking-lot attendant. He said he was also forced to use his retirement funds and had to live off of food stamps.

In May, the jury ruled in favor of the NCAA. McNair’s attorneys filed a motion for a new trial in December, with a hearing scheduled for January.

This isn’t the first time that Bucs new head coach Bruce Arians has hired a staff member who struggled to find work after being subjected to harsh and controversial punishment from the NCAA. Arians offered an internship with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 to David Kelly, a former University of Central Florida assistant who was forced to resign from the school in 2011, despite the fact that the school appealed its sanctions and won. Kelly has since landed on his feet as Florida State’s wide receivers/recruiting coordinator.

McNair played for Arians at Temple University and with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989-1993, before coaching with him on the Cleveland Browns staff from 2001 to 2003.

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Steve Wilks firing ‘hurt a little bit’ amid lack of black hires

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers new assistant head coach and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin didn’t mince words Friday when asked about his disappointment over the firing of Steve Wilks by the Arizona Cardinals after one season and the lack of minority hires.

“That hurt a little bit,” Goodwin said. “He’s a friend of mine. We worked together back in the day with the Bears. It’s hard to build something from the ground up with one year. It’s like, ‘Hey, I want you to start this Fortune 500 company, but you’ve got one year. That’s impossible. And that’s what he was tasked with. But God will look after him. He’ll be OK in the long run and hopefully he’ll get another opportunity.”

This offseason was particularly difficult for minority coaches. Five of the eight coaches fired either during or after the 2018 season — Wilks, Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns, Todd Bowles of the New York Jets, Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos — are black. That has left just Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers and Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers as the only black head coaches in the NFL.

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