Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano cleared to rejoin team

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Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano, who has had three rounds of chemotherapy for leukemia, got the OK to  rejoin the 9-5 Colts.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano, who has had three rounds of chemotherapy for leukemia, got the OK to rejoin the 9-5 Colts.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano can resume coaching whenever he’s ready.

On Thursday, Dr. Larry Cripe told The Associated Press that Pagano had been cleared to return and that it was up to the coach and the Colts to determine when that will happen, and how much Pagano will do. Pagano’s physician is not imposing any restrictions, either.

Pagano is expected to return to the team complex as early as Monday.

“Medically, I see no reason he cannot come back when he’s ready to try and come back,” Cripe said. “Coach has done a great job with this, and I trust him.”

Pagano has not been on the sideline since a Sept. 23 loss to Jacksonville, Indianapolis’ only home defeat this season.

Three days later, he was diagnosed with leukemia and immediately began the first of three rounds of chemotherapy.

REDSKINS: Robert Griffin III looks good to go.

The rookie quarterback had a full practice Thursday for the second consecutive day as the team prepares for this week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I like what I see,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “If there is no setback, he should be ready to go.”

Griffin missed Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns with a sprained right knee.

PRO BOWL VOTING: Peyton Manning, who has come back from multiple neck surgeries to lead Denver to the AFC West title, received the most Pro Bowl votes from fans on NFL.com, the league announced Thursday.

Manning (993,045 votes) was followed in the fans’ voting by New England quarterback Tom Brady (908,099); Houston running back Arian Foster (829,591); Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (828,225); and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (777,827).

COWBOYS: DeMarcus Ware’s fourth quarter roughing-the-passer penalty last Sunday against Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger cost the All-Pro linebacker $15,750, according to ESPN.com.

Ware was fined by the NFL for the hit. Ware hit Roethlisberger in the back of the helmet with his right arm.

JETS: Mark Sanchez is the former face of the franchise. He could soon be a former member of the New York Jets.

The team will consider all their options regarding the beleaguered and benched quarterback in the offseason, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The person, who requested anonymity because the team’s personnel plans are private, told the AP that the Jets have not made any determinations involving Sanchez.

That means his status is in limbo and a trade cannot be ruled out.

He’s not alone. The futures of Tim Tebow, coach Rex Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano with the Jets also are uncertain.

Parting ways with Tebow, the immensely popular but little-used backup, appears a certainty after he came to New York amid lots of hype but had little impact in his one season with the Jets.

But the Jets could be hard-pressed to trade or cut Sanchez, who is due $8.25 million in guarantees next season.

Meanwhile, a clearly miffed Tebow, no longer masking his season-long frustration, left no doubt he’s unhappy with his role. He will seek to play elsewhere next season, and the Jets appear willing to accommodate his wishes.

Upset he was passed over for the starting-quarterback job, Tebow spoke of the Jets in the past tense Wednesday, admitting he doesn’t understand why they traded for him last March. Asked if he envisions returning to the team in 2013, he said: “I’m not sure. It’s something we’ll talk about after the season.”


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