Former commissioner Tagliabue to rule on Saints bounties Tuesday
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue will rule Tuesday afternoon on the latest round of player appeals in the NFL's bounty probe, and...
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue will rule Tuesday afternoon on the latest round of player appeals in the NFL's bounty probe, and any potential punishment will be delayed by a week, a person familiar with the decision said.
The delay is designed to give a federal judge in New Orleans the opportunity to rule on pending motions to throw out the suspensions and remove Tagliabue as the appointed arbitrator for the player appeals to the league, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because no rulings have been announced.
The NFL's decision to delay potential sanctions for four current or former Saints also means linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith may play Sunday when New Orleans hosts Tampa Bay.
If the sanctioned players find Tagliabue's decision palatable, that could finally bring the bounty saga to an end more than nine months after the NFL first made public its probe of New Orleans' cash-for-hits program. If not, it will be up to U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan to disqualify Tagliabue or let his ruling stand.
Current and former Saints players and coaches have acknowledged the existence of a performance pool that rewarded key defensive plays including hard, legal tackles, but have denied organizing or participating in a program designed to intentionally injure opponents.
An NFL probe concluded that Vilma and Smith were ringleaders of a cash-for-hits program that rewarded injurious tackles labeled as "cart-offs" and "knockouts."
Cowboys' Bryant injures finger
IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys might be without wide receiver Dez Bryant for their playoff push.
Bryant injured his left index finger in an emotional 20-19 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday, one day after practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a car accident that landed defensive tackle Josh Brent in jail on intoxication manslaughter charges.
Dallas coach Jason Garrett said Monday that Bryant was still being evaluated. The Cowboys play Pittsburgh at home Sunday in a battle of 7-6 teams trying to keep playoff hopes alive.
Bryant re-entered the game after suffering the injury and caught a touchdown pass that pulled the Cowboys to 19-17 in the fourth quarter. Dallas won on a field goal by Dan Bailey on the final play.
"I think adrenaline sometimes allows players to continue to play after they've had an injury," Garrett said. "He certainly made a big play in the ballgame, and I think that's a real tribute to his toughness and his love for the game."
• The knee injury suffered Sunday by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is mild enough that Washington hopes he will be ready to play Sunday at Cleveland, coach Mike Shanahan said.
Shanahan said Griffin suffered a Grade 1 sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee when his leg was twisted awkwardly on a hit by Baltimore defensive lineman Haloti Ngata late in the fourth quarter of the Redskins' overtime win Sunday at FedEx Field. "He's definitely not ruled out for the Cleveland game," the coach said.
• The San Francisco 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs for the final three games following a series of posts on social media sites addressing his lack of playing time, including one during the weekend saying he was "on this team rotting away." The 49ers made the announcement about two hours after coach Jim Harbaugh's news conference, but provided no explanation for why Jacobs had been disciplined. Asked whether Jacobs was still a part of the team, Harbaugh said: "I'm going to quote the Fifth Amendment. No comment about that."
• The financial framework for a $1 billion, retractable-roof stadium for the Atlanta Falcons was approved by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. The agency's board approved a 24-page, non-binding term sheet for the stadium, which the team and authority estimate would open for the 2017 season. The proposal also calls for demolishing the Georgia Dome.
• Baltimore fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell.
|Player, position||Team||Injury, prognosis|
|Robert Griffin III, QB||Redskins||knee sprain; day to day|
|Fred Jackson, RB||Bills||knee; out for season|
|Dwayne Bowe, WR||Chiefs||rib; out Sunday|
|Dez Bryant, WR||Cowboys||finger; uncertain|
|Ray Rice, RB||Ravens||hip pointer; uncertain|
|Prince Amukamara, CB||Giants||hamstring; questionable|
|Jared Cook, TE||Titans||rotator cuff; out for season|