AP sources: Fangio to coach Broncos, Kitchens to coach Browns...NFL drops appeal in concussion case
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Denver Broncos general manager John Elway has decided on Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as his new head coach. Fangio has spent 34 years as an assistant, including two years in the old USFL, but has never been a head coach at any level. Fangio, who turns 61 in August, is the oldest of the five candidates Elway interviewed to replace the fired Vance Joseph.
CLEVELAND (AP) — A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Browns are hiring Freddie Kitchens to be their ninth head coach since 1999. The person says Kitchens is finalizing his contract. The 44-year-old has no previous head coaching experience but had a dazzling eight-week run as the team’s interim offensive coordinator. He started the season as the team’s running backs coach.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The NFL has abruptly dropped its plan to challenge approved dementia diagnoses in a landmark concussion case as players’ lawyers accuse it of trying to delay payments and rewrite the $1 billion settlement. A federal court hearing set for Thursday on the NFL’s appeal was canceled Wednesday afternoon as the league dropped its appeal. Instead, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody issued an order requiring doctors to explain their findings in certain cases.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The NFL and the NFL Players Association have released a joint statement saying an independent administrator found Panthers safety Eric Reid received the “normal” number of drug tests this season and he was not the subject of targeting by the league. Reid said last month that he had been tested seven times by the NFL, but a person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Reid was not tested that many times. Reid had accused the league of targeting him because of his protests during the national anthem.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Star Kansas running back Pooka Williams has been granted diversion in a domestic battery case, meaning he has a chance to keep the allegation off his record. Williams, who appeared in court today, is accused of punching an 18-year-old woman in the stomach and grabbing her by the throat last month. Williams was the Big 12 offensive freshman of the year and a first-team all-Big 12 selection as running back and kick returner last season. He was suspended by the football program Dec. 7.