NFL: Broncos’ Fox returns to team
December 03, 2013 11:00 AM

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Denver Broncos coach John Fox returned to work from what he called “the longest bye week in history.”

“Really, the hardest part was watching the team play and not being there,” Fox said upon his return four weeks after having open-heart surgery in North Carolina.

Fox had hoped to put off aortic valve replacement surgery until after the Super Bowl but fell ill while golfing with friends near his offseason home in Charlotte on Nov. 2 during the Broncos’ bye. He underwent surgery 48 hours later.

NFL admits officiating mistake

NEW YORK (AP) — Redskins coach Mike Shanahan spoke with the NFL’s director of officiating after the league said Sunday night’s crew made an error on Washington’s final drive.

The league said officials should have stopped play and eliminated confusion about the down and distance at the end of the Giants’ 24-17 victory at Washington.

“I talked to Dean earlier today, he gave me a call and just went over the scenario,” Shanahan said, referring to Dean Blandino, who oversees NFL officiating. “Obviously they made a mistake and you live with it.”

A 4-yard completion to the Redskins’ Pierre Garcon was spotted short of a first down. Referee Jeff Triplette signaled third down. But the head linesman, with Washington in a hurry-up offense, incorrectly motioned for the crew to advance the chains, which caused the down boxes to read first down.

Texans’ Smith apologizes

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston defensive end Antonio Smith is apologizing for using the word “spying” about New England, but isn’t exactly backing down from the accusations he made after the Texans’ loss to the Patriots.

After Houston’s 34-31 loss on Sunday, Smith told reporters that the Texans had some new wrinkles in their defense and it was “miraculous” how the Patriots changed their offense to key on the defense.

He said then: “Either teams are spying on us or scouting us. I don’t know what it is.”

On Monday, he said that he thought reporters in Houston knew him well enough to know that he could be joking and still be curious about something like this at the same time.

He said: “I’m sorry I said the word spying because of a prior engagement of them being caught spying before.”

Smith to remain Jets’ starting QB

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Geno Smith is staying put as the New York Jets’ starting quarterback.

His hold on the job, however, is tenuous at best.

“He’s our best shot, in my opinion,” coach Rex Ryan said.

Ryan confirmed Monday that he’s sticking with the rookie despite Smith’s struggles in the last several games.

Smith was benched in favor of Matt Simms at halftime of the Jets’ 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins following another brutal performance. The rookie was 4-for-10 for 29 yards with an interception and an 8.3 quarterback rating in two quarters.

He has one touchdown and 11 interceptions in his last seven games. The Jets (5-7) have lost three straight to go from controlling their playoff destiny to barely hanging on in the postseason mix.

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