NFL lawyers filed a motion in U.S. District Court in New Orleans requesting former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue be allowed to hear appeals on the Saints’ bounties case next week.
The action comes after the players’ union and the four players suspended in the bounties’ case filed a motion asking that Tagliabue recuse himself from the case because of a conflict of interest and that a neutral arbitrator to be appointed by the court.
In the motion NFL lawyers quote defendant Jonathan Vilma’s statement to ESPN saying that Tagliabue would be “a good first step” as a “neutral arbitrator.”
NFL lawyers argue “it is difficult to think of anyone else more qualified” than Tagliabue.
The hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, subject to any rulings.
Treatment for Pagano
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is ready for his second round of chemotherapy and probably will not return to the team until he completes it.
Interim coach Bruce Arians says doctors are trying to keep Pagano in as sterile environment as possible to prevent the risk of infection.
Pagano was hospitalized Sept. 26 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was released from the hospital Sunday and is continuing treatment at home.
The 52-year-old coach has stayed in contact with his players, writing another note to them this week. Arians did not say what was in the note.
Dwyer boosts Steelers
A week after having the best performance by a Steelers running back this season, Jonathan Dwyer will likely get another chance to be a feature back.
Dwyer, No. 3 on Pittsburgh’s depth chart, expects to start Sunday when the Steelers (3-3) host Washington (3-4).
Dwyer had a career-high 122 rushing yards in last week’s win at Cincinnati after being deactivated the previous two games. With Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman out with injury, Dwyer took advantage of his opportunity.
Mendenhall, who has an Achilles injury, did not practice all week and will not play against the Redskins.
Redman (right ankle sprain) improved as the week went on, and said Friday, “I feel like I’m ready to go.” He did concede, though, that he’s awaiting approval from coaches. Officially, Redman is questionable.
Kicker Shaun Suisham has been bothered by an ankle injury but is probable for Sunday.
The Steelers have known all week they will be without safety Troy Polamalu and right tackle Marcus Gilbert.
Around the league
The Jacksonville Jaguars brought back cornerback Kevin Rutland, signing him for depth as starters Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox deal with injuries. … New England tight end Aaron Hernandez will miss Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams in London while he recovers from a sprained ankle. Hernandez played the last two weeks but has not been at full strength since hurting his right ankle in the second game of the season. The Patriots on Friday listed him as out for the game at Wembley Stadium, giving him extra time to recover with a bye week coming up. … New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott is doubtful to play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins because of a toe injury, meaning his streak of appearing in 119 straight games is likely to end. Scott has not practiced all week because of a hyperextended big toe that has bothered him since the third game of the season. He played just nine defensive snaps against the New England Patriots last Sunday, and will likely be replaced in the starting defense by rookie Demario Davis. …Miami Dolphins cornerback Richard Marshall was ruled out of Sunday’s road game against the New York Jets with a back injury. Marshall will miss his third consecutive game. … Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Fili Moala and cornerback Darius Butler will not play Sunday at Tennessee. Moala has an undisclosed knee injury, Butler is out with a bad shoulder. … Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jason Jones is doubtful to play against the Detroit Lions on Sunday with an ankle injury. Jones has been unable to practice all week after suffering the injury against the San Francisco 49ers last Thursday night. Jones has 2 ½ sacks on the season primarily as a situational pass rusher. … Tennessee left tackle Michael Roos’ 119-game consecutive starts streak will come to an end Sunday as the Titans have ruled him out for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Roos sat out for the third consecutive day of practice Friday after having his appendix removed on Monday. His streak had been second only to Detroit’s Jeff Backus among active offensive tackles.
Ravens fined $20,000
The NFL has fined the Baltimore Ravens $20,000 for not listing safety Ed Reed on the team’s injury report with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, a violation of the league’s procedures for reporting injury information.
Reed publicly acknowledged the injury on Oct. 17, before the Ravens’ game against Houston, and said it could be affecting his play. The Pro Bowl safety fully participated in practices and games after the injury occurred, but the league said he should have been listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury and fully participating in practice.
Arizona safety Rashad Johnson was fined $21,000 by the league for an illegal blindside block in the Cardinals’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.
Detroit cornerback Alphonso Smith was fined $15,750 for his horse-collar tackle on Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the Lions’ loss Monday night.
Taylor acquitted in court
NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor celebrated with a cigar and pledged to concentrate on his “broken life” after a jury rejected a woman’s claims that he assaulted her by failing to recognize her distress when he had sex with her in a hotel room when she was 16.
The jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan deliberated for about an hour before siding with Taylor, who appeared relieved as he turned around and gave a thumbs-up to a friend on a court bench behind him. Outside court, Taylor signed a copy of the verdict sheet belonging to his lawyer, Arthur Aidala, and then spoke about his future as well as his past.