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NFL Notes: Patriots LB Fleming saves woman trapped in car

Associated Press

New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming didn’t hesitate when he saw a woman trapped in a smoking car: He kicked out the window, enabling her to escape.

But Fleming cut his right leg in the process, and he soon began to worry about how coach Bill Belichick would react.

“The first concern was, like, ‘Man, Bill’s going to be pissed about my leg,’” Fleming said in the Patriots locker room on Wednesday after word of his rescue filtered out. “I explained the story to him and he said, ‘That was pretty cool. I’m glad you were able to help her.’”

Fleming, 26, said he was on his way home from practice last Thursday when a truck up ahead slowed down to turn, causing a three-car collision behind it. The former Notre Dame and San Francisco 49er was behind the third car and pulled over to see if he could help.

What he saw was a woman unable to open her doors or windows as her car began to fill with smoke.

“I saw her panic on her face,” Fleming told reporters.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Chicagoan needed a few kicks to break the passenger side window, cutting his right leg on the glass as he pulled it back out of the car. The woman climbed out safely.

“My adrenaline was going up and I wasn’t thinking much about it. I was just thinking about whether she was safe,” Fleming said. “Once I got her out of the car, she said ‘Thank you,’ I said ‘You’re welcome,’ and I saw my leg and I got out of there.”

Fleming, a fifth-round draft pick in 2012, needed 22 stitches to close the gash. He played with the injury Saturday in New England’s 27-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I was more worried about just getting out there and playing. I’m glad it didn’t affect my play much,” Fleming said. “The worst thing that could happen is that I would tear them (stitches) open and get re-stitched. It wasn’t like it was a life-threatening injury or anything like that.”

“It represents his character,” linebacker Rob Ninkovich said. “He’s a great person. … It’s definitely somebody that you want in a situation like that, to kick in windows and taking stitches.”

Quick kicks

Browns WR Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement, a person familiar with the process says. Gordon was banned for a year in February for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon failed an alcohol test, wiping out his 2015 season. Gordon led the league with 1,646 yards receiving in 2013. … Raiders QB Derek Carr was added to the Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Carr threw for 3,987 yards with 32 touchdowns this season. … Jets RB Chris Ivory (WSU) has been added to the Pro Bowl roster, replacing injured Bills RB LeSean McCoy. Ivory ran for a career-high and AFC-leading 1,070 yards and rushed for seven touchdowns. He also caught a career-best 30 passes for 217 yards and a TD. … Bo Hardegree is following Adam Gase, the Dolphins’ new head coach, to Miami as its QB coach. Gase also hired Jeremiah Washburn as Miami’s assistant o-line coach. … New Browns coach Hue Jackson has added defensive coordinator Ray Horton to his staff, says a person familiar with the hiring. Also, Jackson is bringing in longtime NFL assistant Al Saunders, former Vikings RBs coach Kirby Wilson and Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, said the person. … Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey convinced Dick LeBeau to stick around as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, and he also hired Terry Robiskie as their new offensive coordinator. The Titans also announced that Bobby April, a 24-year NFL veteran, will be their new special teams coordinator.

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