The New Orleans Saints have their leader back on the sidelines.
Head coach Sean Payton met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday and was reinstated from his season-long suspension, the league announced.
The reinstatement is immediate, meaning Payton can attend this week's Senior Bowl and resume his duties as head coach of the team.
In the meeting, Payton took responsibility for the actions of his coaching staff in the team's bounty scandal that resulted in his suspension. He pledged to "uphold the highest standards of the NFL and ensure that his staff and players do so as well."
"We had a very productive discussion," commissioner Goodell said in a statement. "Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels."
The Saints also released a statement.
"We are all thankful that Sean Payton has been reinstated. We have a lot of work to do and we are in the middle of it right now. He is our head coach and we welcome him back. We look forward to a great 2013 season and making another run at a World Championship for our fans."
---Suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is allowed to pursue an NFL coaching job, though commissioner Roger Goodell plans to review his reinstatement should he find one, according to an NFL.com report.
Williams has been suspended indefinitely for his role in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal. He was hired last offseason as defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, but won't return there, a Rams source told NFL.com's Albert Breer.
Eight new head coaches will be filling out staffs around the league, but the fact Goodell would still need to render a decision on reinstatement may keep teams away.
---Medical researchers looking into concussions have found signs of the protein that causes brain damage in football players who are still alive, which could lead to future preventative measures, according to multiple reports.
The discovery marks the first time researchers have detected signs of the disease in living players. Those who conducted the study at UCLA described the discoveries as a big step toward diagnosing what is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in living patients.
"I've been saying that identifying CTE in a living person is the holy grail for this disease and for us to be able make advances in treatment," Dr. Julian Bailes, co-director of NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Ill., told ESPN.com. "It's not definitive, and there's a lot we still need to discover to help these people, but it's very compelling. It's a new discovery."
The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry published the findings on Tuesday. New imaging techniques have detected abnormal tau proteins in five retired NFL players: Fred McNeill, a 59-year-old former Vikings linebacker; Wayne Clark, a 64-year-old former backup quarterback; and three other unidentified players: a 73-year-old former guard; a 50-year-old former defensive lineman; and a 45-year-old former center.
---NFL officials are reviewing a slide by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the AFC Championship Game in which he appeared to make a kicking motion directed at Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, according to an ESPN.com report.
Brady slid after a scramble in the final minute of the first half. One leg was raised and hit Reed, who wasn't hurt. Ravens safety Bernard Pollard called Brady out and said he should be fined.
Reed said Tuesday that Brady apologized to him.
"You know, I understand Brady's point," Reed told WJF-FX. "Him protecting himself. I know he's a great player. I respect Brady and his game for all it stands for, and I know he's not a dirty player. And emotions get going in the game.
"He actually reached out to me, texted me. I tried to text him back, but the message exploded after 12 seconds, so I had to call him. He just apologized and what not. But I told him, 'You know, it's good, man.'"
---The suburban Denver home of New England Patriots defensive back Derrick Martin was robbed while he was playing in the AFC championship game.
Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania told The Denver Post that two masked burgalars forced their way into Martin's home Sunday night while there was at least one adult and several children present. They took many items, but no one suffered injuries.
Martin is a local product. He attended Denver's Thomas Jefferson High School.