HOUSTON — Sam Adams, a former New England Patriots offensive lineman, died in Houston at age 67.

Adams became ill at his Houston home last Saturday and died at a hospital. No cause of death was released.

Adams played for Prairie View A&M before joining the Patriots in 1972. He spent most of his NFL career with New England, finishing with New Orleans in 1981.

Adams started 90 of the 119 games he played for the Patriots during his nine seasons there. In 1978, he was part of the line as the Patriots won the AFC East and set an NFL team record by rushing for 3,165 yards. Sam Cunningham led the team that year with 768 yards rushing.

ARIAN FOSTER of Houston and Bernard Pierce of Jacksonville, both running backs, were on the field with potential head trauma in games last week.

Foster returned to play on his own before the team’s medical staff could evaluate him. Pierce showed no symptoms of a concussion until he attempted a block instead of trying to make a tackle on the punt unit.

STEELERS: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a limited participant in practice for the first time since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sept. 27 during a victory at St. Louis.

 Defensive end Cam Heyward said he was fined by the NFL for paying tribute to his late father, writing “Iron Head” on his eye black during a game. Heyward’s father, Craig, spent a decade as a running back in the NFL and went by the nickname “Ironhead.” He died in 2006.

BROWNS: Starting quarterback Josh McCown practiced on a sore left ankle he injured in the closing minutes of a record-setting performance at Baltimore.

WASHINGTON: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson could return from his hamstring injury to face the New York Jets on Sunday.

JAGUARS: Quarterback Blake Bortles practiced in full, three days after spraining his throwing shoulder in a loss at Tampa Bay.

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