C Kevin Love played only three minutes before leaving with an unspecified illness. …

This is the man two NFL franchises might want as their head coach in 2018. In Hue’s defense, I would lose my red challenge flag all the time. When it’s time to layer up in December, it’s a virtual needle-in-a-haystack scenario.

On balance, I come down as neutral on the idea of mascots. If the kiddies like it, no one wants crotchety, embittered ol’ sportswriter dad spitting hot takes from behind a MacBook. But I do tend to cringe when mascots actively insert themselves into the touchdown celebrations of the teams they represent. Football is hard work. The players lay it out there every Sunday, and when they score a touchdown, it’s both the payoff and a release. It’s safe to say the guy in the furry costume has not made the same sacrifices.

After the season, the NFL’s leadership will review the injury data and try to determine if there are any trends. Representatives of the league and the NFL Players Association meet each year at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. The competition committee deliberates and proposes rule changes to the owners for consideration at the annual league meeting in March. Player safety is an annual focus of that process. Player safety is an annual focus of that process.

Cavaliers: With the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaching, there is growing speculation that Cleveland will make a deal — or two — to improve the league’s oldest roster. Lue doesn’t necessarily believe change is essential. “I like the group that we have,” he said. “We just haven’t been healthy the whole year. I’m just focused on coaching the guys that we have.”

A byproduct of the inept offense is Denver’s defense — which has dropped from No. 1 to No. 12 in one season per Football Outsiders — has to contend with opponents starting at their own 34-yard line, the best field position allowed this season. In 2016 opponents started at their own 29-yard line. The shift has spiked Denver’s points allowed per drive from 1.4 to 1.9 year over year.

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