NEW YORK - The NFL is looking into Tom Brady's leg-up slide that hit Ravens safety Ed Reed in the AFC Championship Game.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday "any play of that nature is routinely reviewed."

During the final minute of the first half, Brady slid at the end of an impromptu run. The quarterback's upraised leg hit Reed, who limped away but was not injured.

Reed says Brady apologized this week for the slide.

"He actually reached out to me, texted me," Reed told WJZ-FM in Baltimore. "I tried to text him back, but the message exploded after 12 seconds, so I had to call him. … He's just apologized and what-not. But I told him, 'You know, it's good, man.'"

Reed said he did not believe Brady was trying to hurt him and added, "I know he's not a dirty player."

• Saints coach Sean Payton's season-long suspension for his role in the team's bounty program was lifted by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, nearly two weeks earlier than expected.

The decision allows Payton to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday, where some of the top college players available for the NFL draft will be competing.

• The NFL is hoping to decide the fate of the Pro Bowl by the time it releases next season's schedule in April. The future of the league's all-star game will largely depend on how much effort this year's Pro Bowlers put into the game. Goodell nearly canceled the game after uninspiring play last year, but it will be held Sunday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.


UA soccer team adds assistant coach

New UA women's soccer coach Tony Amato announced the addition of assistant coach Paul Nagy to his staff Tuesday. Nagy spent the previous three seasons on Amato's staff at Stephen F. Austin University (17-4 in 2012).

• The UA softball team is No. 13 in the USA Today/ NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Tuesday.

• The UA men's track and field team fell four spots to No. 13 in the USTFCCCA poll released Tuesday, and the women's team remained at No. 12.

• Mike Napoli signed a $5 million one-year contract Tuesday with the Boston Red Sox instead of the original three-year agreement that had been reached before a physical discovered a hip problem.

"This has been caught very early," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said of the condition known as avascular necrosis, which can cause bone tissue to die because of poor blood supply. "There's … a very good prognosis."

• The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with Tucsonan Shelley Duncan.

Includes material from news releases