Titans safety Michael Griffin is appealing his one-game suspension without pay after being labeled by the NFL as a repeat offender of the league’s rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.
The league announced the penalty Monday for Griffin’s hit on Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera. The punishment came from Merton Hanks, the NFL’s vice president of football operations.
Griffin wrote in a text to the Associated Press that he was just trying to do his job but hurt his team. The suspension would cost Griffin $205,882.35 out of his $3.5 million base pay this season and keep him out of Sunday’s game at Indianapolis. Griffin cannot take part in any football activities until Dec. 2, and the Titans currently hold the AFC’s sixth and final playoff berth at this point.
“All I can say is I apologize to the Titans fans, my teammates, and the organization,” Griffin wrote. “I also hope Rivera is doing well and I apologize to him and his family.”
The safety was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday’s 23-19 win over Oakland for a hit on Rivera. It was Griffin’s second violation this season and fourth since 2011. Griffin went in low but hit Rivera as the tight end went to the ground after attempting a catch.
Alliance calls for penalty
The Fritz Pollard Alliance sent a letter to the NFL on Monday calling for a 15-yard penalty on players who use abusive language on the field.
The advocacy group, which promotes diversity in the NFL, wrote to league general counsel Jeff Pash and specifically noted the use of racial epithets.
Cyrus Mehri, counsel for the alliance, cited the league’s rule book, which prohibits the use of “abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures to opponents, officials, teammates, or representatives of the league.”
“There is no valor in using racial epithets. ... Directing the ‘N’ word towards others in a place of work is abusive, threatening, and insulting,” Mehri wrote to Pash.
On Friday, the league announced that umpire Roy Ellison was suspended for this past weekend as punishment for words directed at left tackle Trent Williams late in the second quarter of the Redskins’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles the previous Sunday.
Vikings cut Jefferson
The Minnesota Vikings released cornerback A.J. Jefferson after he was arrested and jailed on a domestic assault complaint.
The move was made on Monday. According to Hennepin County records, the 25-year-old Jefferson was being held without bail. Formal charges were not expected on Monday.
Jefferson played for the Vikings on Sunday in their tie game at Green Bay.
Man who saved woman OK
The man authorities say saved a woman’s life after she jumped from the third level of the Oakland Raiders’ stadium says he had no fear trying to catch her.
Donnie Navidad says he urged the woman not to jump Sunday while he positioned himself to catch her. When she plunged about 45 feet at the O.co Coliseum, Navidad ended up breaking her fall.
The 61-year-old Navidad has been released from the hospital and is recuperating from a severely bruised arm at his home in Stockton.
The woman remains hospitalized in critical condition. She jumped shortly after the Raiders’ 23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans as fans filed out of the stadium Sunday.