Football

NFL notes: Bengals' Dalton back at practice after flu bug

Wearing his bright orange No. 14 jersey, quarterback Andy Dalton carefully threw spirals on a sunny, 40-degree afternoon Thursday, getting back into football after one nasty day of recovering from the flu.

He had a little catching up to do.

Dalton came down with the flu on Wednesday morning, forcing him to miss an important practice for a playoff game in Houston only three days away. He went to a hospital for treatment to help him recover quickly, and was back at Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday morning.

He still looked a little ragged.

"I saw him this morning," cornerback Leon Hall said. "I gave him a hard time about how he looked. He didn't look himself, to say the least."

Dalton said he was able to eat a little before his limited practice on Thursday. The weather was much better than earlier in the week, when there were wind chills in the teens. The Bengals don't have a covered practice field.

"It was a tough day yesterday, but I feel a lot better than I did," he said.

Dalton watched tape of the practice that he missed to get up to speed on the game plan. He took it easy while warming up during the first half-hour of practice that was open to the media.

"I can't try to do too much," Dalton said. "I've watched the film and I know what's going on. Obviously I would have liked to have practiced yesterday, but it didn't happen."

Around the league

Chargers: San Diego fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on Thursday after just one year on the job and replaced him by promoting linebackers coach John Pagano. The shakeout came four days after the Chargers finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs for the second straight year.

Steelers: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced Thursday but remains bothered by a sprained left ankle heading into Sunday's wild- card game at Denver. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Roethlisberger was "moving around OK, not as good as he was." Arians said there are no plans to consider putting backup Charlie Batch into the lineup.

Rams: Jeff Fisher is interviewing for the St. Louis coaching job after previously meeting with the Dolphins. Fisher has a career record of 142-120 and led the Titans to at least 12 wins four times.

Texans: Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips says he had gall bladder surgery that forced him to miss two games. The 64-year-old Phillips went on medical leave on Dec. 14. He returned last week and worked from the press box in Sunday's 23-22 loss to Tennessee. He'll work from there again when the Texans (10-6) play Cincinnati (9-7) in the playoffs.

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