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Dec 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Penn State coach Bill O'Brien is the favorite to be the next coach of the Houston Texans, and the two sides are working out a contract, ESPN reported Saturday. The Texans interviewed O'Brien after Christmas at his Cape Cod, Mass., home. The team reportedly has a short list of candidates as a fallback if they are unable to work out a deal with O'Brien, who was a New England Patriots assistant for six years before going to Penn State. O'Brien, 44, went 7-5 in his second season at Penn State. He interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns head coaching jobs last offseason. Penn State made it easier for O'Brien to leave for the NFL by reducing the buyout teams would have to pay the school for hiring him from $19.33 million to $6.48 million. Houston fired Gary Kubiak as its coach earlier this month. - - - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was ruled out for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, the team announced Saturday. Peterson was previously listed as doubtful on the team's injury report with groin and foot injuries. Peterson, the leading rusher in Mall of America Field's 32-year history, will miss the final game there. The Vikings (4-10-1) are moving into a new stadium. Backup Toby Gerhart is also out with a strained hamstring, so Matt Asiata will start with Joe Banyard as the backup. Peterson rushed for 1,266 yards on 279 carries with 10 touchdowns this season. - - - Quarterback Josh Freeman said he is interested in coming back to the Minnesota Vikings, despite playing just one game after he was picked up in October. Freeman, an impending free agent, was claimed by the Vikings after his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He completed 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards with an interception Oct. 21 against the New York Giants but did not play the rest of the season. The Vikings have exclusive rights to negotiate with Freeman until March 8, before the three-day legal tampering period begins in advance of the March 11 start of free agency. - - - The Green Bay Packers activated wide receiver Randall Cobb from injured reserve/designated to return on Saturday after the team arrived in Chicago for Sunday's game against the Bears. Cobb is eligible to play in the regular-season finale and could join quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has recovered from a broken collarbone. Cobb fractured the tibia in his right leg on Oct. 13 against the Baltimore Ravens. At the time of the injury, Cobb led the Packers with 29 receptions. - - - Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore told the Denver Post that he had a setback in recovering from a leg injury. Moore was placed on injured reserve/designated to return in November. He was estimated to be back in time for the AFC Championship game, should the Broncos advance that far in the playoffs. Moore had surgery to alleviate lateral compartment syndrome Nov. 18 and is eligible to return Jan. 14. The AFC title game is Jan. 19. However, Moore is still unable to run, putting the expected date of his return in doubt. (Editing by Gene Cherry)