INDIANAPOLIS – Colts interim coach Bruce Arians expects Chuck Pagano to take full control of the team when he returns – even if that means making a coaching change in the playoffs.
Pagano has not been on the sideline since being diagnosed with leukemia Sept. 26, something Indianapolis believes will change before the season ends.
If he comes back, he’ll be the head coach, Arians said when asked whether Pagano would be making all of the game-day decisions.
The goal, Arians has said over the past month, is to get Pagano back on the sideline for the regular season finale Dec. 30 against Houston, and if not then, to keep playing until Pagano does return.
Pagano’s physician, Dr. Larry Cripe, said this month that the illness was in complete remission just before Pagano embarked on a second round of treatment.
49ers to stick with Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick will start at quarterback for San Francisco on Sunday at St. Louis.
Coach Jim Harbaugh made the announcement that Kaepernick would go over Alex Smith after the second-year pro led the NFC West-leading Niners (8-2-1) to victories in the past two games, his first two NFL starts.
Colin, we believe, has the hot hand, Harbaugh said.
Vikings’ Allen, Lions’ Suh fined
Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen has been fined $21,000 for a hit on Bears guard Lance Louis on Sunday.
Also, Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was fined $30,000 but says he didn’t kick Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin on purpose.
Around the league
Jacksonville claimed two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin off waivers from Philadelphia. The Jaguars (2-9) will pay the remaining $1.69 million of Babin’s 2012 salary, essentially taking a low-risk look at someone who could significantly upgrade one of the league’s worst pass rushes.
Cleveland rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is practicing three days after suffering a concussion and will likely start Sunday against Oakland. The Bears added linebacker Patrick Trahan to the active roster from the practice squad.
Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said tight end Kyle Rudolph and safety Harrison Smith, both Notre Dame products, both passed concussion tests this week, clearing the way for them to play at Green Bay on Sunday.