Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak made an appearance near the end of practice on Thursday, visiting the team four days after he collapsed from a mini-stroke suffered at halftime of Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Kubiak is recovering from a transient ischemic attack. The Texans have not said when they expect Kubiak to resume any of his job responsibilities. Kubiak, 52, was released from the hospital on Tuesday. His doctors said he will not be with the Texans when they travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals on Sunday.
Kubiak has been in contact with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who is serving as the interim head coach in Kubiak's absence. Phillips said after practice that Kubiak stopped by the team's facility and spoke with the players before they were done with Thursday's session.
"Coach Kub was there at the end of practice. He talked to the players for a bit and everyone was excited to see him," Phillips said.
---Miami Dolphins players claimed they laughed about the voicemail played by Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin in the locker room, ending with guard Richie Incognito saying, "OK, call me back" that was not included in the transcript previously reported by multiple outlets.
Several media outlets have reported they have heard the entire voicemail, but the Miami Herald reported the full context wasn't provided by other outlets. Incognito is coming under fire for what is being labeled as bullying of Martin. At the center of the controversy is a voicemail Incognito allegedly left. One of the most incriminating messages turned over includes a racial slur and physical threats from Incognito to Martin.
Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline indicated Wednesday the voicemail needs more context.
"This is the same guy that was laughing about this voicemail at one point in time, first of all," Hartline said of Martin. "Second of all, I believe that if you look through the whole voice mail, there's some things said that you probably shouldn't say in general, friends or not friends. But I know for a fact, that I've said things to my friends that I kind of wish I've never said to, either."
---DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director, said Thursday that he continues to be in touch with Dolphins players surrounding the investigation into alleged misconduct by guard Richie Incognito over the treatment of tackle Jonathan Martin.
In the meantime, Martin has hired an attorney. David Cornwell, who represents Alex Rodriguez and is a familiar foe of the NFLPA, was retained by Martin.
Also Thursday, ProFootballTalk.com reported that Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland encouraged Martin to "punch" Incognito if necessary before Martin left the team.
---After missing four games with a thumb injury, linebacker Clay Matthews expects to return to the field for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday when they face the Philadelphia Eagles.
If the coaches and medical staff give him the go-ahead, Matthews plans to play with a protective covering over the thumb. He worked out Wednesday and practiced on a limited basis with the team on Thursday.
Matthews suffered a broken thumb in an Oct. 6 win over the Detroit Lions and underwent surgery. Before the injury, the fifth-year pro had three sacks in five games.
---San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is expected to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio confirmed Thursday.
Smith has not played since Sept. 22 after he spent five weeks in a treatment center. He checked himself into rehab three days after he was arrested and jailed on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. The number of snaps will depend on his conditioning level after a six-week layoff. Fangio said.
---New York Jets running back Mike Goodson was indicted on weapons charges, the prosecutor's office in Morris, N.J., announced Thursday.
The indictment stems from a May 17 incident in which New Jersey State Police found Goodson and another man in a car that had a Taurus .45 caliber handgun loaded with a hollow point bullet.
Goodson was indicted on charges of second degree unlawful possession of a weapon and fourth degree prohibited weapons and devices.
---Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel is expected to return to the starting lineup Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, coach Doug Marrone said Thursday.
Marrone said that the team wanted to see how Manuel responded from his return to practice before making any determinations about which quarterback would be starting Sunday.
The rookie quarterback, who the Bills selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2013 draft, sprained his LCL on Oct. 3 against the Cleveland Browns and has not played since. Marrone also said he hopes backup quarterback Thad Lewis gets a clean bill of health after missing last week with a rib injury.
---Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been cleared and is expected to start Sunday against the Detroit Lions, coach Marc Trestman said Thursday.
Cutler was cleared by the team's medical staff after missing Monday night's game against the Green Bay Packers with a groin injury. Cutler missed just one game after suffering the injury against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 20.
---Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White said Thursday that he expects to play on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury.
White, 32, has just 14 catches for 129 yards in limited action this season. He had six straight years with at least 1,000 yards.
---Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was back on the practice field Thursday after missing Wednesday's session with a sore back.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he did not believe Bryant's sore back is a long-term issue. Bryant was running routes in practice Thursday.
Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (stinger) missed practice for the second straight day, Defensive tackle Nick Hayden also missed practice with a rib injury that limited him Wednesday.