Raiders

Heyward-Bey doing 'fine' day after hit to head

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Heyward-Bey doing 'fine' day after hit to head

ALAMEDA -- Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey suffered a concussion in the scary-looking hit to the back of his head in Oakland's 27-21 victory at Minnesota on Sunday, Raiders coach Hue Jackson said Monday in his weekly media conference.But Heyward-Bey was also doing "fine" the day after and wearing a neck brace, according to Jackson."Obviously, we're still going to take precautions with him, but he's moving around, walking around, looking like Darrius (with a) neck brace on," Jackson said with a smile. "He's doing good. That was a tough shot that he took. But he's a tough young man. I'm sure as fast as he can get out there with his teammates, he will be."

Heyward-Bey was injured after hauling in a four-yard pass across the middle with 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter when cornerback Cedric Griffin brought him down from behind and spun him around. E.J. Henderson closed in and caught Heyward-Bey with a knee to the back of the head, popping off the receiver's helmet.He held onto the ball but rolled over onto his back and his legs began moving on Mall of America Field's artificial turf. Medical personnel rushed onto the field immediately and he was strapped onto a stretcher with his head held in place. Heyward-Bey gave a brief thumbs-up as he was carted off the field.Heyward-Bey was then transported to nearby Hennepin County Medical Center for precautionary exams before being released in time to catch the Raiders' charter flight back to Oakland.Early Monday evening, Heyward-Bey Tweeted the following: "I want to say THANKS to all my Family, Friends, RaiderNation, and Fans. That sent out prayers for me."Said Jackson: "I think we're beyond the major part of it. Now, I think it's morelet's see how fast he heals and see exactly where he is. He had the neck, back issue and a concussion so we need to get him past those things. Obviously there's procedures when you're dealing with a concussion you have to go through. So I think he's at the normal stages of that and then I think it's more, let's see where this soreness exactly, where it's located in his body and go from there too."Heyward-Bey, who caught four passes Sunday for 43 yards, has been having a breakthrough campaign in this, his third NFL season. He is leading the Raiders with 31 catches for 477 yards (both are already single-season highs for him) and has one touchdown.Jackson was asked if he thought Heyward-Bey might play this weekend."Knowing our medical staff, there's a good chance because they're very good at what they do," Jackson said. "But if he doesn't I wouldnt be surprised by that (either). We're just going to take it day by day and see where it goes."

Back again: Patriots rally past Jags, head to eighth Super Bowl since 2001

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AP

Back again: Patriots rally past Jags, head to eighth Super Bowl since 2001

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Give `em a hand: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl.

Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining , rallying the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship Sunday.

Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after hurting it during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered.

And, with the game - and possibly the season - on the line, the Patriots star came up big again.

"I've had a lot worse," Brady said. "I didn't know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win."

Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots (15-3), who'll play the winner of Sunday night's game between Minnesota and Philadelphia in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

It's the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times - including last year's 34-28 overtime rally against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Jaguars (12-7) led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hold against the defending champions.

Jacksonville - looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history - had one more shot, but Bortles' throw on fourth-and-15 to Dede Westbrook was knocked away by Stephon Gilmore.

The Patriots then ran out the clock, with Dion Lewis' 18-yard scamper with 90 seconds remaining sealing the victory. And they did it mostly without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who left the game late in the first half and didn't return.

Brady's hand was the most-scrutinized body part in Boston since the quarterback's right ankle before the 2008 Super Bowl, and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's right ankle tendon - the bloody sock - in the 2004 playoffs.

Brady was listed as questionable after he hurt his right hand during practice earlier in the week. He was limited Wednesday, sat out Thursday and was limited again Friday because of the injury.

That caused some panic among the Patriots faithful.

Turns out, it was nothing to fret about.

Brady came out for warmups without a glove on his hand, and he came out throwing. He completed his first six passes - including a 20-yarder to Amendola on fourth-and-1 from the Jaguars 30 - for 57 yards to march the Patriots down the field. The drive stalled when Brady was sacked by Dante Fowler Jr., and New England settled for Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal.

A wide-open Marcedes Lewis gave the Jaguars a 7-3 lead 45 seconds into the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown catch from Blake Bortles, who was 5 for 5 for 66 yards on an impressive and efficient seven-play, 76-yard drive.

Leonard Fournette gave Jacksonville a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter with a 4-yard TD run, hushing the crowd at Gillette Stadium.

The Jaguars made some big mistakes that hurt them just before halftime. Bortles completed a 12-yard pass to Lewis on third-and-7 from the Patriots 44, but Jacksonville was called for delay of game - after New England called a timeout.

That wiped out a first down, and Bortles was sacked by Adam Butler on the next play to force a punt.

With just over two minutes left before halftime, New England's offense took over and the fans chanted "Bra-dy! Bra-dy!"

And their quarterback delivered - with some help from the Jaguars on two long penalties.

On first-and-10 from the Patriots 40, Brady threw a long pass for Gronkowski, who was injured when he got popped by Barry Church just as the ball was arriving. Church was called for unnecessary roughness, putting the ball at Jacksonville's 45.

A.J. Bouye was called for pass interference on the next play on an incomplete throw for Brandin Cooks. The 32-yard penalty put the ball at the Jaguars 13. After a 12-yard catch by Cooks, James White ran it in from the 1 to make it 14-10 with 55 seconds left.

Josh Lambo gave Jacksonville a 17-10 lead 4:37 into the third quarter with a 54-yard field goal. He added a 43-yarder 8 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it a 10-point game.

But Brady & Co. were just getting started.

Report: Before hiring Olson as OC, Gruden interviewed ex-Texas A&M coach

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USATSI

Report: Before hiring Olson as OC, Gruden interviewed ex-Texas A&M coach

Greg Olson is back as the Raiders offensive coordinator, but he may not have been Jon Gruden's first choice.

Before hiring Olson, Gruden interviewed former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin for the OC position, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Despite not getting the Raiders' job, Sumlin was able to find work as he was announced as the new head coach of the Arizona Wildcats on Jan. 14.

Sumlin went 51-26 in six seasons with the Aggies and was 35-17 in four prior seasons with the Houston Cougars. The 53-year-old Sumlin has no NFL coaching experience.

Olson served as the OC in Oakland in 2013 and 2014. He spent this past season as the Rams quarterback coach.

“Greg Olson coached Derek Carr for a year here. His intel there will be very important. He coached with me in Tampa and he coached with Sean McVay, one of my ex-assistants, in LA. So, the system of football that we run will be a real natural flow,” Gruden said when the Raiders announced Olson's hiring on Ja. 12.