Winless Browns fire VP Sashi Brown, keep their coach

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have fired top executive Sashi Brown, but are keeping coach Hue Jackson for another season despite a 1-27 record.

Brown was named the team's top executive by owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam during an overhaul following the 2015 season. He was relieved of his duties on Thursday.

In announcing the dismissal, Jimmy Haslam said Brown was told the team "is going in a new direction." Haslam also announced Jackson will remain as coach for next season.

Brown's firing is not unexpected since Cleveland is 0-12 for the second straight season with Brown in charge. The team passed up a chance to draft quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in the past two drafts and Cleveland has shown little sign of improvement since Brown took over.

Brown had no experience in evaluating players as he primarily handled the team's salary cap before he was promoted.

Saints visit Falcons in key NFC South matchup

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons host the New Orleans Saints in the NFL Thursday night game.

The NFC South matchup has serious playoff ramifications. The 7-5 Falcons desperately need a win over the 9-3 Saints to have a realistic shot at a second straight NFC South title.

In a 14-9 loss to Minnesota last week Atlanta failed to score a touchdown for the first time in nearly two seasons — a major embarrassment to a team that led the league in scoring a year ago.

Injured Steelers LB Shazier transferred to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers say linebacker Ryan Shazier has been transferred from a Cincinnati hospital to Pittsburgh medical facility to continue treatment for a spinal injury suffered during Monday night's game against the Bengals.

The Steelers added that Shazier will continue to undergo tests before the team offers an update on his status. Shazier left Paul Brown Stadium on a stretcher following a tackle that left the 25-year-old writhing on the turf, his legs motionless.

In other NFL news:

— Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning is back as the Giants' starting quarterback. He was benched last week by former coach Ben McAdoo, who along with general manager Jerry Reese, was canned Monday.

— The Chiefs have suspended cornerback Marcus Peters for Sunday's game against Oakland for his embarrassing tantrum during a last-minute loss to the Jets last weekend. Peters threw an official's flag into the stands, stalked off the field wearing a smile, then ran back onto it without wearing socks when he realized he hadn't been ejected.

— Bengals safety George Iloka has had his one-game suspension overturned on appeal. That leaves him with a fine of almost $36,500 for his hit to Antonio Brown's head during Monday's game against Pittsburgh.

— Panthers three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen has returned to practice and is expected to play against the Vikings. Olsen missed eight games while on injured reserve with a broken foot and played just one quarter in Carolina's win over the Jets on Nov. 26.

— Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford appears to be resting the injured fingers on his throwing hand. Stafford was not seen throwing any passes during Wednesday's practice, three days after his right hand was stepped on in a loss at Baltimore.

— Roger Goodell has signed a five-year contract extension to remain commissioner of the NFL through 2024.

— A woman has filed a lawsuit against Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon accusing him of sexual harassment while she was an assistant for his sports marketing firm. According to court documents, Wendy Haskell alleges Moon made "unwanted and unsolicited" sexual advances.

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