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Seahawks' Lynch returns to practice, could start

RENTON, Wash. — Marshawn Lynch was back to practicing with the Seahawks on Wednesday, the running back's first on-field work since having abdominal surgery in late November and missing the final seven games of the regular season.

Lynch went through a walkthrough, then took part in the afternoon practice. "It'll just be the process of seeing him recover from the day's work and see how he goes," coach Pete Carroll said.

Lynch had surgery Nov. 25 for an injury related to a sports hernia. Seattle leaned on Thomas Rawls to fill in, but Rawls broke an ankle in Week 14. Christine Michael and Bryce Brown carried the running game the last three weeks of the regular season.

The expectation is if Lynch can make it through the week, he will start Sunday's NFC wild-card game at Minnesota. Carroll also said strong safety Kam Chancellor (pelvis/tailbone), guard J.R. Sweezy (concussion), tackle Russell Okung (calf) and tight end Luke Willson (concussion) were on track to play after missing Sunday's regular-season finale with injuries.

Chiefs get All-Pro LB back: Chiefs All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston confirmed he plans to play in Saturday's wild-card game in Houston, which would be his first game since hyperextending a knee in November. He has been practicing this week with a brace on his knee.

Brady 'feeling better:' Three days after 320-pound Dolphins defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh fell on his right leg, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he was "feeling better than I was a couple of days ago." Though he was favoring the leg after the 20-10 loss, he appeared to be walking without a limp. After a bye week, the defending Super Bowl champions have a Jan. 16 playoff game against Cincinnati, Kansas City or Houston.

Record ratings for 'SNF:' NBC said its 10th season of Sunday Night Football was its highest rated and is on pace to rank as prime time's top show for the fifth straight year. SNF averaged 22.5 million viewers, an increase of 6 percent from 2014.

Bucs: The Titans have asked for permission to interview Jon Robinson, Tampa Bay's director of player personnel, for their vacant general manager's job. Robinson is the right-hand man for general manager Jason Licht.

Colts: Coach Chuck Pagano said he fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and five other assistants, two days after he received a four-year contract extension following an 8-8 season. Also going are safeties coach Roy Anderson, secondary coach Mike Gillhamer, head strength and conditioning coach Roger Marandino, tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts and running backs coach Charlie Williams.

Cowboys: Receiver Dez Bryant was in New York to have surgery on his injured foot and ankle, the Dallas Morning News reported. Bryant fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in the season opener. The injury forced him to miss the next five games. In Week 9, Bryant injured his left ankle and knee while making a leaping touchdown grab.

Jets: Coach Todd Bowles fired special teams coordinator Bobby April and assistants Steve Hagen and Ron Heller after the Jets missed the playoffs after a 10-6 season. … Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, selected to his first Pro Bowl this season, said he would have surgery to repair his broken right leg, suffered Sunday against the Bills.

Rams: The team will not renew contracts of five assistants, including former Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia, who lasted one year as an offensive assistant.

Saints: Seeking to end speculation that he could be on the move after consecutive 7-9 seasons, coach Sean Payton asserted that he doesn't envision himself "ever coaching for any other clubs."

Agent trouble: The players union revoked the license of agent Ben Dogra, who has represented Adrian Peterson and Richard Sherman among others, and fined him $200,000. Dogra can apply for reinstatement in three years. The union did not cite specifics. Dogra's attorney said the agent denies engaging in any bad conduct and will appeal.

Times staff writer Rick Stroud contributed to this report.

NFL wild-card weekend

AFC: SATURDAY

• No. 5 Chiefs (11-5) at No. 4 Texans (9-7), 4:35, Ch. 28/ESPN

• No. 6 Steelers (10-6) at No. 3 Bengals (12-4), 8:15, Ch. 10

AFC first-round byes

No. 1 Broncos (12-4) No. 2 Patriots (12-4)

NFC: SUNDAY

• No. 6 Seahawks (10-6) at No. 3 Vikings (11-5), 1, Ch. 8

• No. 5 Packers (10-6) at No. 4 Redskins (9-7), 4:40, Ch. 13

NFC first-round byes

No. 1 Panthers (15-1) No. 2 Cardinals (13-3)

Seahawks' Lynch returns to practice, could start 01/06/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 10:06pm]
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