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QB Rivers retires after 17 NFL seasons

(AP Photo/Zach Bolinger, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) When Philip Rivers first started tossing footballs as a high-school ball boy, he heaved them any way he could. The throwing motion stuck - and success soon followed.

Rivers used that strange, shot put-like style to land a college scholarship, become a first-round draft pick and eventually string together one of the greatest 17-year careers in NFL history. On Wednesday, the 39-year-old Indianapolis Colts quarterback announced his retirement.

"Every year, Jan. 20 is a special and emotional day," Rivers said in a statement posted on the team's website. "It is St. Sebastian's Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I'm announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL. I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season."

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Lions agree with Campbell to be coach

The Detroit Lions landed the coach they coveted from the start of their search by hiring Dan Campbell.

The Lions tweeted a photo of the former New Orleans Saints tight ends coach signing his deal Wednesday, one day after the team formally introducing Brad Holmes as their general manager. Campbell signed a six-year contract, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms of the deal were not released.

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Mahomes practices, remains in protocol

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remained in the NFL's concussion protocol Wednesday, but practiced in a limited capacity, raising hopes that the reigning Super Bowl MVP can play in Sunday's AFC title game against Buffalo.

The Chiefs typically breeze through their midweek practice with little contact before ramping things up with their longest workout Thursday, and coach Andy Reid said afterward that fit perfectly with what Mahomes was able to do.

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GM mum on Browns' plans for QB Mayfield

CLEVELAND (AP) Baker Mayfield checked every box for the Browns this season: he matured as a player, took them back to the playoffs, solidified himself as a leader.

Cleveland's long search for a franchise quarterback appears to be over.

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Ravens' main goal to upgrade pass game

The Baltimore Ravens have got the running game down pat, as evidenced by their back-to-back seasons with more than 3,000 yards rushing.

Nothing wrong there.

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Urlacher's brother pardoned by Trump

CHICAGO (AP) The brother of Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher has been pardoned of federal charges that he recruited for a multimillion-dollar illegal offshore gambling ring,

Casey Urlacher, the mayor of the tiny Chicago suburb of Mettawa, was among those pardoned in the final hours of President Donald Trump's term as part of a flurry of clemency action that benefited more than 140 people.

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Falcons name Saints' Fontenot as GM

ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday named Terry Fontenot the team's first Black general manager, and team owner Arthur Blank said it's the kind of hire that will eventually also create more opportunities for NFL minority coaches.

The 40-year-old Fontenot joins Atlanta following 18 seasons with NFC South rival New Orleans.

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Thomas to be first female Super Bowl ref

NEW YORK (AP) Sarah Thomas will cap her sixth NFL season by becoming the first female to officiate the Super Bowl in NFL history.

Thomas, a down judge, is part of the officiating crew announced Tuesday by the NFL.

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Ravens release 3-time Pro Bowl RB Ingram

Three-time Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram has been released by the Baltimore Ravens, who used the 10-year veteran as a starter for the first seven games this season before dropping him deep on the depth chart.

The 31-year-old Ingram was on the inactive list for four of Baltimore's last five games, including playoff matchups against Tennessee and Buffalo. He finished with 299 yards on a career-low 72 carries and two touchdowns.

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Saints' Nielsen pivots, won't be LSU DC

NEW ORLEANS (AP) New Orleans Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen informed LSU on Tuesday that he will not take the Tigers' defensive coordinator job after initially agreeing in principle to do to so, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition on anonymity because negotiations have not been made public by LSU or the Saints. A person told the AP on Monday that Nielsen had agreed in principle to take the LSU position, but that some outstanding contract issues still needed to be resolved.

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