Week 9

NFL notes: Gary Kubiak ‘in good spirits’ after scare

The Texans said coach Gary Kubiak, 52, experienced ‘‘dizziness and a light-headed feeling’’ during the game before being taken by ambulance to a hospital.
David J. Phillip/Associated Press
The Texans said coach Gary Kubiak, 52, experienced ‘‘dizziness and a light-headed feeling’’ during the game before being taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak will remain hospitalized until at least Tuesday after collapsing on the field at halftime of Houston’s 27-24 loss to Indianapolis Sunday night.

The team said Kubiak, 52, experienced ‘‘dizziness and a light-headed feeling’’ during the game before being taken by ambulance to a hospital. The Texans have not said what caused the problem, saying only that Kubiak has gone through a battery of tests and is with his family.

‘‘Gary is alert, coherent, and in good spirits,’’ general manager Rick Smith said Monday as questions swirled about the coach’s health. ‘‘He is continuing to be evaluated and monitored.’’


Kubiak will remain at the hospital for at least the next 24 hours, the team said, leaving the reeling Texans, losers of six straight, left to wonder when he’ll return.

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As the Texans were headed to the locker room, Kubiak hunched over and dropped to his knees at the 24-yard line and was immediately surrounded by medical personnel. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and put in an ambulance.

Ahead, 21-3, when Kubiak collapsed, the Texans struggled after halftime as the Colts rallied for a win. Veteran safety Ed Reed didn’t want to blame the loss on what happened to Kubiak, who has never publically disclosed any health problems.

‘‘I thought we dealt with it well,’’ Reed said. ‘‘We’ve just got to finish.’’

The Texans are trying to pick up the pieces in a season that started with so much promise. Houston was expected to contend for the championship and started 2-0 before struggling with injuries and bad play.


Defensive end J.J. Watt talked about how hard Kubiak works and said he’s always the first person to the stadium and the last one to leave.

‘‘I have no idea what the medical correlation is, but I know that this is an extremely difficult profession and obviously being a head coach in the National Football League, you have a lot of stress, you have a lot of weight on your shoulders,’’ Watt said.

Del Rio runs Broncos

The Broncos named defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio interim head coach, replacing coach John Fox, who underwent heart surgery Monday in North Carolina, according to team executive vice president John Elway.

Del Rio will remain Denver’s defensive coordinator while running the team for several weeks while Fox, 58, recovers. Denver returned from its bye week Monday and plays at San Diego next Sunday.

While Del Rio was running his first practice, Fox was in the recovery room at Carolinas HeathCare System’s Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute in Charlotte, N.C., after having his aortic valve replaced in an operation he had hoped to delay until after the Super Bowl.


Fox’s wife, Robin, issued a statement through the team that said Fox’s operation went well and he was being monitored in the hospital’s post-operative critical care unit.

Manuel’s ready

EJ Manuel to the rescue? Buffalo’s rookie quarterback declared himself ready to return after missing four weeks with a sprained right knee. All that’s standing in Manuel’s way is a green light from coach Doug Marrone. And that won’t likely come until later in the week, and after Manuel gets a chance to test his knee. He’s been cleared for full contact. The team returns to practice Wednesday. The Bills started undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City, after Thad Lewis (rib injury) went 1-2 as the starter in Manuel’s absence. The Bills released quarterback Matt Flynn Monday and signed fullback Evan Rodriguez . . . X-rays on Jason Campbell showed his ribs were only bruised, and the Browns expect him back under center for the team’s next game Nov. 17 at Cincinnati. Campbell was injured in the first quarter Sunday against Baltimore but matched his career high with three TD passes in the win.

49ers get WR back

The 49ers activated receiver Mario Manningham from the physically unable to perform list. Manningham, who had reconstructive knee surgery in the offseason, has been practicing for two weeks. The 49ers also waived cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and activated cornerback Eric Wright from the reserve/non-football injury list . . . Seahawks center Max Unger and defensive end Red Bryant are both going through concussion protocols after being injured on Sunday against Tampa Bay. Coach Pete Carroll said he’s unsure if either will be ready for next weekend’s game at Atlanta.

Cardinals sign Ballard

The Cardinals signed former Patriots tight end Jake Ballard, who was released by New England Aug. 30. Arizona released rookie tight end D.C. Jefferson, though coach Bruce Arians said the move had nothing to do with the young player’s arrest in Scottsdale on suspicion of extreme DUI Friday night . . . Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was back at the Jets’ facility after serving a four-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Winslow said he’s still unsure why the positive test occurred, but thinks it was possibly for allergy medication he took. He insisted that he doesn’t take ‘‘illegal stuff.’’ . . . Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph will miss at least the next month with a fractured left foot . . . Rams tight end Lance Kendricks is expected to miss at least one week with a broken finger on his right hand.

Conviction in slaying

Eric Rivera Jr., 23, was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2007 slaying of Redskins star Sean Taylor during what witnesses say was a botched burglary. The jury deliberated about 16 hours over four days before returning the verdict. Rivera admitted in a videotaped confession to Miami police days after Taylor’s death that he fired the fatal gunshot. At the trial, Rivera said on the witness stand that his confession was given only under police pressure and amid purported threats to his family. Rivera, who was 17 at the time of the slaying, could be sentenced to life in prison . . . The Jaguars placed receiver Justin Blackmon on the suspended list and released safety Dwight Lowery from injured reserve. The team also waived tight end D.J. Williams, signed receiver Kerry Taylor off Arizona’s practice squad, and promoted tight end Danny Noble from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.