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NFL notebook: Broncos’ record-setting kicker Prater getting over flu

Associated Press

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Matt Prater missed practice all week with the flu and the Denver Broncos kept him away from the rest of the team so he didn’t get everyone else sick.

“We sent him home,” coach John Fox said after Saturday’s practice in 54-degree weather and sunshine. “He’s going to be fine for the game. Hopefully he’ll feel much better [this] morning as we prepare to fly to New Jersey.”

Fox said he didn’t think Prater would be infectious by Sunday’s flight.

“Guys do get sick, just like any household in America,” Fox said. “We feel confident he’ll be fine shortly.”

Prater, who was chosen for the Pro Bowl this season, missed all three of the team’s practices this week as the Broncos prepare for the Super Bowl against Seattle on Feb. 2 at MefLife Stadium.

Prater was a big part of Denver’s record-setting 606-point regular season, converting 25-of-26 field goals and all 75 PATs in the regular season. In the playoffs, he’s 5-for-5 on field goals and PATs.

His only miss was a 52-yard field-goal attempt at Kansas City on Dec. 1 that sailed wide left.

There’s no way the long layoff will hurt him, holder Britton Colquitt said.

“He’s the best there is and his first kick next week isn’t going to look like he missed all of this week,” Colquitt said. “Guys don’t have to practice every day to do their thing. So, he’s just going to get better. I’m sure he’ll have an opportunity to make a difference in the game, too.”

Prater kicked an NFL record 64-yard field goal in icy weather in Denver on Dec. 8 against Tennessee.

Bears hire line coach

The Chicago Bears hired former Louisville and Miami assistant Clint Hurtt to take the place of Michael Sinclair as assistant defensive line coach.

Hurtt, 35, was sanctioned last fall by the NCAA for violations committed as a Miami assistant.

Louisville had suspended Hurtt for the violations with the Hurricanes and he was under a two-year show-cause penalty requiring compliance updates to the sanctioning body. He leaves after four seasons with the Cardinals.


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