San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was sent to the hospital Thursday for a “minor procedure” after doctors found he had an irregular heartbeat.
The team expects Harbaugh will be back at the 49ers facility today, though it’s unclear in what capacity. No details about the procedure were given.
The NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2-1) host the NFC-North leading Chicago Bears (7-2) on Monday night.
“It’s one of those things that, like Coach Harbaugh always tells us, he’s tougher than a $2 steak,” 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. “We know he’s going to be all right.”
Team spokesman Bob Lange said Harbaugh visited with doctors Wednesday night after feeling ill, and they advised him to have the procedure done at Stanford Hospital.
Assistant coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely informed players of the hospitalization Thursday and oversaw team meetings and the afternoon practice.
Bills beat Dolphins 19-14
Leodis McKelvin scored on a 79-yard punt return and the Mario Williams-led Buffalo Bills’ much-maligned defense finally flexed its muscles in a 19-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night in New York.
Safety Jairus Byrd recovered a fumble and made a diving interception, and Bryan Scott sealed the win with an interception to end the Dolphins’ final drive.
Williams had one of three sacks for a Buffalo defense that limited the Ryan Tannehill -led Dolphins to 184 yards.
That was enough to make up for an offense that settled for Rian Lindell’s four field goals on four drives into the red zone.
Buffalo (4-6) snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in seven games.
Marcus Thigpen scored on a 96-yard kickoff return and Davone Bess had a 2-yard touchdown catch for Miami (4-6), which has lost three straight.
Punter sues over field
Ex-Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann sued the Harris County agency that operates Reliant Stadium, blaming “unsafe turf” for a possibly career-ending knee injury.
Hartmann signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent in July 2011. He played in the first 12 games last season before tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament and fracturing a bone in Houston’s 17-10 win over Atlanta on Dec. 4.
The Texans (8-1) host Jacksonville (1-8) on Sunday.
Houston coach Gary Kubiak defended the field. “I think our field is great. I think our guys do a great job,” he said. “That’s all I got to say.”
Chiefs lineman has surgery
Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Jon Asamoah will miss Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals after surgery on one of his thumbs.
Wide receiver Jon Baldwin has not been cleared following a head injury in last week’s game against Pittsburgh and is unlikely to be available. Tight end Jake O’Connell is also expected to miss the game with an ankle injury.
Russ Hochstein is likely to start in place of Asamoah on the line. Steve Breaston and Dexter McCluster would fill the void left by Baldwin.
Goodell discusses safety
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says football will evolve and get safer.
Speaking at the Harvard School of Public Health, Goodell said the league will do what it needs to do to protect the safety of its 1,800 players.
“Football has always evolved, and it always will,” he told an overflow crowd. “Make no mistake: change does not inhibit the game; it improves it.”
Around the league
Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil plans to test his sprained left shoulder at practice today in hopes he can play Sunday against San Diego. ... The Washington Redskins say coach Mike Shanahan had money and a passport stolen from the Heinz Field locker room in a road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last month.