September 2005 - Football Wiretap
NFL Players Linked To Indicted Doctor Face Steroids Tests
Some of the NFL players linked to a South Carolina doctor indicted on federal charges for giving them steroids will be subject to as many as 24 random drug tests each year, The Washington Post reported Friday. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue told the paper that the league concluded an investigation into reports about prescriptions written by James M. Shortt, who was charged last week with 29 counts of distributing steroids and human growth hormones, as well as a conspiracy charge. The players involved, most of them reportedly current or former members of the Carolina Panthers, will be subject to up to two dozen random steroids tests annually, the newspaper reported. "Every player who was part of the investigation who's still in the league is being tested up to 24 times a year, which is the most important element of putting an end to this," Tagliabue told the newspaper. "That's why we have not had repeat offenders. That's as important or more important than the discipline. It's testing people up to 24 times a year on a random basis."
Giants' William Peterson Again Faces A Season-Ending Back Injury
For the second time in three seasons, New York Giants starting cornerback William Peterson has a potentially season-ending back injury. Peterson, listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against St. Louis, said Thursday the injury could force him to miss the game and possibly the rest of the season. Peterson said the team's medical staff diagnosed a fracture of his lower back after he had an MRI exam last week. He experienced pain while playing against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night, and said further tests this week showed the injury to be more serious. "I was told it was something I could play with that would just cause me pain, but it wouldn't cause any other damage to the back," he said. "But after the game, on Monday I was told it was more serious in nature. Right now it doesn't look good for this weekend and it doesn't look good for this season."
Jets And Giants Agree To New Meadowlands Stadium
The New York Giants and Jets agreed Thursday to build a stadium in the Meadowlands that would become the first NFL venue to be owned and operated by two teams. The facility will be built near state-owned Giants Stadium, which is currently home to both teams and is among the league's oldest stadiums. Specific details about the stadium plan are to be developed over the next several months, including its new name. The teams plan to put the naming rights up for bid. Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey announced the deal during a press conference at the stadium, saying it would guarantee both teams remain in New Jersey for the next 99 years. Codey, appearing with the owners of both teams, said the Jets would also relocate their practice facility to New Jersey. The Jets now practice at Hofstra University on Long Island. The project would create "tens of thousands of new jobs," Codey said, adding he was also looking forward to revenue from income taxes from the Jets' payroll.
Rams Sign 3rd Round Pick
Three weeks into the season and more than five months after the draft, Richie Incognito became the last player picked to sign when he agreed Thursday to a four-year contract with the St. Louis Rams. ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reports that the four-year contract is worth about $1.9 million and includes a $549,000 signing bonus. St. Louis also guaranteed the base salary for the first year of the contract. The offensive guard was the second of the Rams' two third-round picks, and the 81st overall pick. Incognito had a kneecap injury at the time of the draft, and coach Mike Martz said then he would have been a first-rounder otherwise.
Matt Light Undergoes Surgery To Repair Broken Bone In Leg
While there has been no official word from the New England Patriots, several sources confirmed Thursday that starting left offensive tackle Matt Light underwent Wednesday surgery to repair a broken bone in his right leg. Light injured the leg in the second quarter of Sunday's victory at Pittsburgh and was taken from the field on a cart. The Patriots, who are typically cryptic about injuries and prognoses, have listed Light as "out" for this week's home game against San Diego, but characteristically have made no reference about a timetable for his possible return. At least for now, the Patriots do not plan to place Light on the injured reserve list, which would make him ineligible to play the rest of the season. The hope is that Light, arguably the blocking unit's best player, will be able to return later in the year.
Favre Not Considering Retirment
If Brett Favre seriously considered retiring last season after winning the NFC North Division, there?s no telling how a .500 or lower finish in 2005 might influence whether he returns as the Green Bay Packers? quarterback in 2006. The 0-3 Packers might be on their way to their worst season since 1991, when they went 4-12. If they don?t recover, there could be substantial fallout, and one of the major issues will be whether Favre will return for his 16th NFL season, when he?ll be going on 37. ?I think Brett loves football,? said Ted Thompson, the Packers? general manager. ?At some point, he?ll go out on his own terms, and that?s the way it?s supposed to be. But I don?t know that you can jump to that conclusion (he?ll retire) because we lost three games here.? Favre on Wednesday wouldn?t give much indication whether the Packers? performance will be a major factor in whether he returns in ?06. He said he felt more uncertainty going into this season about how the team would perform than in any past year, which suggests he considered the possibility the team could slip when he decided to return. ?At 0-3, I think most people would say, ?He?s gone after this year, they may not even want him back? or whatever,? Favre said. ?I haven?t even thought about it, really. I?d much rather be 3-0, believe me. But if I was sitting here and we were 3-0, I don?t think in the back of my mind I?d be saying I?m definitely coming back because we?re 3-0. I?m just going to take it game by game and try to get this back on track and see what happens.?
Rivers To Stay In San Diego
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith immediately put an end to any speculation about quarterback Philip Rivers, the backup quarterback who is behind Drew Brees. Any team interested in trading for Rivers won't have any luck. Rivers is not available. "With the trading deadline approaching Oct. 18, we'd like to put an end to the swirling rumors that Philip Rivers is available for trade," Smith said. "Philip Rivers will be a Charger for the remainder of the season." Smith was contacted because a growing number of stories circulated that the Jets could turn to Rivers as an option because of season-ending injuries to quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler. One rumor had Jets middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma being involved in a possible trade proposal.
Seau's Injury Diagnosed As A Strain
Dolphins linebacker Junior Seau's calf injury has been diagnosed as a strain, and he might be able to play in the team's next game Oct. 9 at Buffalo. An MRI test determined the injury suffered in Sunday's win over Carolina wasn't serious, coach Nick Saban said Wednesday. Safety Tebucky Jones is nursing a strained hamstring, and his status is also day to day, Saban said. Running back Ronnie Brown has recovered from a strained hamstring and practiced Wednesday.
McNair Doesn't Practice Due To A Sore Foot
Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair didn't practice because of a sore foot, but isn't expected to miss any more time. McNair and receiver Drew Bennett, who were not listed on the early injury report, sat out practice because of sore feet. Both were added to the injury report after practice. McNair is expected back on the field Thursday.
49ers' Jamie Winborn Clears Out Locker In Anticipation Of Trade
Linebacker Jamie Winborn cleaned out his locker and left the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday as the club abruptly announced plans to trade the former starter. Winborn lost his job to converted defensive end Andre Carter last week, and coach Mike Nolan suggested the fifth-year pro should stay away while the 49ers find him a new home. "He sees himself as a starter, and I would tend to agree with that," Nolan said. "It just won't be here."
McNabb Needs Surgery, Expects To Continue To Play
Donovan McNabb is playing with a severe abdominal strain that likely will need surgery. It will cause him pain throughout the 2005 campaign.
Saints Lose Safety Bellamy For Season
Jay Bellamy?s streak of consecutive games started ends at 122 after the Saints' strong safety suffered a season-ending injury to his right rotator cuff in Sunday's loss at Minnesota.
Pennington?s Season In Peril
New York Jets? quarterback Chad Pennington has been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff and if the diagnosis is seconded, he will miss the remainder of the Jet?s season.
Harrison Out For Remainder Of The Season
Patriots' coach Bill Belichick will be without his star strong safety for the remainder of the season after it was determined that Rodney Harrison has torn a anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Akers Likely To Miss Next Sunday's Game
David Akers probably will miss Philadelphia's game at Kansas City next week because of a torn hamstring, while Donovan McNabb's status is uncertain.
Harrison Might Be Lost For Season
Rodney Harrison, the NFL's career leader for sacks by a defensive back, injured his left leg Sunday and was taken off the field on a stretcher in Pittsburgh.
Donovan In Pain
Already playing with a bruised chest and groin injury, Donovan McNabb has an abdominal strain that may not heal until after the season.
Akers Hobbles To Game-Winning Field Goal
David Akers made a 23-yard field goal with nine seconds left to lift the Philadelphia Eagles to a 23-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Henry Suspended For Violating Substance Abuse Policy
Titans running back Travis Henry will be suspended for four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, according to a broadcast report Sunday.