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Falcons Expect Fixes to Stadium Roof

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The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

 

Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons expect the retractable roof on Mercedes-Benz Stadium to be "fully operational" for the 2018 season and next year's Super Bowl.

Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay told The Associated Press on Wednesday he expects the team to have more open-air home games in the 2018 season.

"The roof is being worked on as we speak and yes we expect the roof to be fully operational by football season, if not well before," he said. "Fully operational means you will see us go to much more of an open configuration as we designed at the beginning. When it's ready to go, we'll be open depending on weather."

Problems kept the roof closed on the $1.5 billion stadium for most of the 2017 season.

The unique roof, designed to open like a camera lens, was open only for the Falcons' first home regular-season game against Green Bay on Sept. 17. It was closed for all other NFL and college games, including the Peach Bowl, the Southeastern Conference championship game and the national championship game.

Panthers: Will not be punished for their handling of Cam Newton's injury during a playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 7.

The NFL and the Players Association announced Wednesday that Carolina's medical staff correctly followed concussion protocol guidelines.

After walking off the field with a second-half eye injury, Newton stumbled to the ground near the sideline when asked by trainers to take a knee.

Steelers: Star running back Le'Veon Bell says he and the team are making progress on a contract extension. The team has presented an initial offer, and Bell says "we are a lot closer than we were last year."

Bell spoke Wednesday at the Pro Bowl. He says he doesn't believe talks will drag on. He says "I think we'll get something done and it will be exciting for both sides, for the fans and everybody."

Packers: Joe Philbin, an assistant from 2003 until 2012, was hired Wednesday as offensive coordinator, a job he held for his final five seasons before being named the Miami Dolphins' head coach in January 2012. On defense, the Packers tabbed Mike Pettine, the ex-Cleveland Browns head coach who built successful defenses with the Jets and Bills but was largely out of football the past two years, serving as a consultant with Seattle in 2017.

Rams: Hired former UCLA interim head coach Jedd Fisch as a senior offensive assistant.

Browns: Todd Haley has been hired as coach Hue Jackson's offensive coordinator. Haley, 50, spent six seasons guiding Pittsburgh's high-powered offense but was fired following the Steelers' loss to Jacksonville in the playoffs.

Florida: Running back Jordan Scarlett and three other players suspended last season amid felony fraud charges have rejoined team activities.

School officials confirmed the return of the players Tuesday to The Associated Press.

"All of our players understand the standards and expectations we have of them to be members of the Florida football program," Florida coach Dan Mullen said in a statement.

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January 25, 2018
 
 
 

 

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