Sep 13, 2012
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell separately from the other three players who were suspended in the bounty case.
Vilma is scheduled to meet with Goodell on Monday while Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove remain on Goodell's schedule for a Tuesday meeting.
Those meetings aren't certain to happen as the review of bounty punishment is back to the pre-discipline stage. The NFL released a statement Thursday outlining its position on the Appeals Board decision for the first time, and said in part: “The panel made clear that the Commissioner had full authority to impose discipline on the players so long as the discipline was attributable to conduct detrimental to the league, rather than 'undisclosed compensation.' The panel asked only that he clarify that he was not relying on the “undisclosed” nature of the financial incentives in imposing the discipline. In the meantime, the panel put the suspensions on hold.”
Vilma's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said in a statement that the NFL's Thursday statement asserting Goodell's authority wasn't in question and that suspensions were put “on hold” was fiction.
“It is interesting and illuminating that it took the NFL almost one week to develop a publishable rationalization of the Appeals Board decision,” Ginsberg said in a statement. “Contrary to the NFL's media statement, the Appeals Panel voided the suspensions -- it did not 'put the suspensions on hold,' as the NFL now pretends. And the Appeals Board is clearly based on the conclusion that the Commissioner overstepped his jurisdiction.”
--- Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said wide receiver Steve Smith was unable to complete Thursday's practice because of knee soreness.
His status for Sunday's game against the Saints shouldn't change, Rivera said, but Smith will be reevaluated. If it's up to Rivera, the injury doesn't sound as if it will prevent the 33-year-old receiver from taking the field.
When pressed on Smith's status (questionable), Rivera said “without a doubt” he expects Smith to play.
--The Cardinals are expected to start Kevin Kolb at quarterback Sunday at New England with John Skelton's ankle injury limiting him.
Kolb completed 6 of 8 passes and guided the Cardinals to a game-winning touchdown in Week 1 against Seattle after Skelton was carted off the field with an ankle sprain. Kolb lost a competition with Skelton in preseason and began the season on the bench.
--Eagles wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson missed Thursday's practice with injuries.
Head coach Andy Reid said Maclin (hip) and Jackson (hamstring) would not participate but could still play in Sunday's game against the Ravens.
--Maurice Jones-Drew said an NFL.com report that he was fined $800,000 for his holdout was “false” but declined to say how much he was fined.
Jones-Drew will start Sunday's game against Houston, returning to the starting lineup because Rashad Jennings injured his knee Week 1 at Minnesota.
Jones-Drew was expected to be brought along slowly after his 38-day contract-related holdout.
Coach Mike Mularkey said he anticipated using Jones-Drew, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,606 yards last season, as a third-down back for a week or two.
--Calvin Johnson was listed on the Lions' injury report Wednesday with a foot injury and missed practice, but he returned to practice Thursday and will start Sunday's game at San Francisco.
The nature of his injury isn't clear, nor is it considered serious.
---Golden Tate practiced with the Seattle Seahawks' first-team offense Wednesday and could replace Braylon Edwards as the starter this week.
Edwards is coming off a less-than-spectacular game last Sunday in the Seahawks' loss to Arizona. He failed to make a potential winning catch, and his team-leading five catches resulted in only 43 yards.
Tate didn't have a reception last week.
---Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson entered a not-guilty plea Thursday to a domestic violence charge in Florida.
Johnson, who was waived by the Miami Dolphins in August, wasn't present for the arraignment in Broward County, Fla. He was represented by his attorney.
The 12-year veteran was charged with misdemeanor battery Wednesday. He allegedly head-butted his wife, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada, during an argument Aug. 11.
---Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison is saying he'll play Sunday against the New York Jets, but his body may be telling him no.
Harrison's balky knee forced him to sit out Thursday's practice after telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beforehand that he expected to see his first action of the season. He missed the Steelers' opener and all of the preseason.
“I'm great, I'm full go, I'm playing on Sunday. Run it,” the Pro Bowler was quoted as saying to a Post-Gazette reporter before practice.
Safety Troy Polamalu (calf), tackle Max Starks (illness) and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (knee) also didn't practice.
---Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus returned to the team Thursday after leaving midweek to return to Birmingham after learning his younger brother, 19-year-old Simeon Gilmore, was a victim in a triple homicide in Pelham, Ala.
Dareus said he plans to play Sunday against Kansas City.
-- Despite speculation that Lions wide receiver Titus Young might be suspended for head-butting an opponent last Sunday, the team has decided he has learned his lesson and will keep on the active roster for Sunday's game against the 49ers, the Detroit News reported.
Young received a personal foul for head-butting St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Sunday, and he was benched at the start of the third quarter as a result.
But coaches say he has responded well this week.