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    NFL notebook

    Notes: Colts’ head coach expected to return Monday

    With doctors giving Colts head coach Chuck Pagano clearance to return to his job, interim coach Bruce Arians was cautiously optimistic Friday that Pagano would be running the team on Monday for the first time since he was diagnosed with leukemia.

    ‘‘It’s still up in the air, but he feels pretty solid that he’s ready to go,’’ Arians said, reiterating the point he’s made all week — he’s eager to give the reins back to his longtime friend.

    Pagano hasn’t coached a game since a Sept. 23 loss to Jacksonville.


    Indy (9-5) has gone 8-3 since Pagano left and has moved within one win — or one Steelers loss — of clinching an improbable playoff spot.

    Buffalo’s Bills

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    The Bills reached an agreement with Erie County and the state on a lease deal for the Ralph Wilson Stadium that will keep the NFL franchise in western New York until at least 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo and team officials announced.

    The agreement includes $130 million in renovations for the nearly 40-year-old stadium, with the Bills providing $35 million and the state and county covering the rest. Cuomo said the lease keeps the Bills in Orchard Park at least through the first seven years of the 10-year pact. The team would have to pay a $400 million penalty to leave earlier. The Bills’ current lease expires July 31.

    Griffin likely to play

    Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (sprained right knee) is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Eagles. Or, as coach Mike Shanahan put it: ‘‘There is a very, very good chance he is going to play.’’ . . . Former Pro Bowl kicker Nate­ Kaeding signed with Miami, which placed kicker Dan Carpenter on injured reserve because of a right groin injury. . . . Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez said “I’m a Jet, and that’s all I’ve known,’’ despite the fact the team will consider all options with Sanchez in the offseason . . . Justin Smith’s availability is in question after he missed practice because of an elbow injury for the third consecutive day, placing the 49ers lineman’s streak of 185 consecutive starts in jeopardy.