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  • Saturday, September 20, 2014
    Goodell's opening statement on domestic violence and the NFL
    By The Sports Xchange

    Following is the a transcription as distributed by the NFL on NFLMedia.com representing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's opening statement in a press conference on Friday in New York regarding the league and domestic violence:

    • Good afternoon. Thank you for coming today. I'd like to make a few points and then I'll be happy to take your questions.

      At our best, the NFL sets an example that makes a positive difference.

      Unfortunately, over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong.

      That starts with me.

      I said this before, back on August 28th, and I say it again now -- I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter. I am sorry for that.

      I got it wrong on a number of levels -- from the process that I led to the decision that I reached.

      But now I will get it right and do whatever is necessary to accomplish that. First, I don't expect anyone just to take my word. Last week, I asked former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct an independent investigation to answer the questions raised about our process in reviewing Ray Rice's conduct.

      I pledged that Director Mueller will have full cooperation and access. We all look forward to his report and findings. I promise you that any shortcomings he finds in how we dealt with the situation will lead to swift action. The same mistakes can never be repeated. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that we are thorough in our review process and that our conclusions are reliable. We will get our house in order first.

      Second, and most importantly, these incidents demonstrate that we can use the NFL to help create change not only in our league but in society with respect to domestic violence and sexual assault.

      We are taking a number of steps. I said on August 28th that the entire NFL would receive comprehensive information on resources and support systems for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We will re-examine, enhance and improve all of our current programs -- and then we'll do more.

      Earlier today, each NFL club and all of our league office locations received information about advocacy and support organizations in their communities.

      In addition, our teams and league staff --- everyone -- will participate in education sessions starting in the next month -- followed by training programs.

      These programs are being developed by a top group of experts. Some of them were announced earlier in the week. We will continue to identify and add expertise to our team. And we will ask the NFL Players Association to help us develop and deliver these programs in the most effective way.

      Third, we recognize that domestic violence and sexual assault exists everywhere, in every community, economic class, racial and ethnic group. It affects all of us.

      These are problems we are committed to addressing. But we cannot solve them by ourselves. Law enforcement, the criminal justice system, social service organizations and families are the cornerstones to addressing this problem.

      For our part, we can and will do more. To begin, we have entered into a long-term partnership with two leading national organizations -- the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The hotline received an 84 percent increase in their call volume last week. They did not have the resources to answer nearly half of the calls. They need help. We are providing it.

      Fourth, we strongly -- strongly -- condemn and will punish behavior that is totally unacceptable.

      Domestic violence, including child abuse, sexual assault, irresponsible ownership or handling of firearms, the illegal use of alcohol or drugs -- these activities must be condemned and stopped, through education and discipline. Our standards, and the consequences of falling short, must be clear, consistent and current. They must be implemented through procedures that are fair and transparent.

      This is the central issue today. I'm here now because our rules, policies and procedures on personal conduct failed to ensure that this high standard is met.

      But I want to make it clear. These are complex issues. Our country has a legal system that everyone needs to respect.

      When there is evidence of misconduct by anyone in the NFL, we need to carefully consider when to act and on what evidence. Everyone deserves a fair process.

      You know I feel passionately that working in the NFL in any capacity is a privilege -- something we must earn every day and do not take for granted. The vast majority of players, coaches, owners and employees of the NFL stand tall, not only for their role in the game, but for what they do in their communities.

      To get all of this right, we will bring together our players and their union representatives, coaches, owners and outside experts who can help us set the right standards and identify the right procedures.

      I have discussed these challenges with the Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. He shares my view that domestic violence and sexual assault have no place in the NFL. He and I will meet next week to bring together experts to help us establish and live up to the standards that our fans deserve, and that we set for ourselves.

      I will be asking these experts to examine all current NFL policies related to employee and player conduct and discipline.

      They will address how to balance due process rights for those accused with the need to hold our personnel to the highest standards.

      They should also consider the current system for determining violations, including my role in the process.

      There will be changes to our personal conduct policy. I know this will happen because we will make it happen. Nothing is off the table.

      Let me say it again -- we will implement new conduct policies. They will have a set of clear and transparent rules for league and club personnel, owners and players.

      My goal is to complete this work by the Super Bowl.

      Football and the NFL have always changed and improved.

      We drive changes in the game through our Competition Committee. It reviews and updates the rules that govern the game on the field.

      Through this process of evaluation and reform, we keep the game competitive, entertaining, fair and -- most important -- as safe as possible for our players.

      We go to enormous lengths to make sure that players, coaches, officials, fans, our broadcast announcers -- everyone in the NFL -- fully understand our playing rules and how they are enforced.

      That must now be our model when it comes to personal conduct. So, like the Competition Committee and other league committees, I am establishing a Conduct Committee to review these new rules in the months and years to come and ensure that we are always in line with best practices.

      There is no reason we cannot be as transparent and as effective on these issues as we are with the game on the field.

      I believe in accountability. I understand the challenge before me and I will be held accountable for meeting it.

      Every day, so many of our players, coaches and staff are doing tremendous things in their communities. I couldn't be more proud of how they are using their opportunity to help make a positive difference.

      Today, I ask everyone that is part of the NFL to join me in making positive and significant changes going forward.

      I will take your questions.

      --The Sports Xchange redistributed separately the Q&A portion of the press conference.

  • Saturday, September 20, 2014
    Transcription: Goodell Q and A
    By The Sports Xchange

    Following is the transcription distributed by the NFL on NFLMedia.com on the question and answer period of Commissioner Roger Goodell's press conference Friday in New York regarding the league and domestic violence. The only editing added was to delineate between questions from the media (Q:) and Goodell's responses (RG:).

    • --Q: If any of these victims had been someone you loved, would you be satisfied with the way the league has handled this crisis and what would you say to them?

      --RG: I'm not satisfied with the way we've handled it from the get-go. As I told you, and this statement indicates, I made a mistake. I'm not satisfied with the process we went through, I'm not satisfied with the conclusions. And that's why we came out last month and said: we're going to make changes to our policies. We made changes to our discipline. We acknowledge the mistake, my mistake. And we said we're going to do better moving forward. We have a set of very complex issues that we have to deal with. That's no excuse. What we need to do is go and get some experts to help us. How do we do this better? How do we restructure our personal conduct policy? To make sure that we educate, we train, we do everything possible to kick that mark for all of us. And when don't' there'll have to be consequences for that. So I'm not satisfied with what we did. I let myself down, I let everybody else down. And for that I'm sorry as I mentioned earlier. That's what we're going to correct and that's what we're going to fix.

      --Q: Roger, you've had pretty extreme unilateral power in deciding discipline. But as you've said a few times, you've gotten it wrong in a few cases and that tends to happen when there's not checks and balances. How willing are you to give up some of that power and do you think that that would be the right thing to do?

      --RG: Rachel, as I said in my statement, everything is on the table. We're going to make sure that we look at every aspect of the process of how we gather information to make decision, how we make that decision and then the appeals process. All of that is on the table and all of that is important information that we want outside experts to give us some perspective on. And see if there is a better way to do it. We believe there is and we believe we need it. We can't continue to operate like this.

      --Q: Also you've mentioned on TV last week that you guys checked and tried to get the Ray Rice video and any information. The AC prosecutor's office in an open records check says that they don't have any electronic communication from the NFL asking for those kinds of documentation or the video. Can you give us sort of the trail of how you guys did that investigation so that people can know really what you put into it?

      --RG: Certainly our security department works with law enforcement. They are fully cooperative. We gather almost entirely all of our information through law enforcement. And that's something else we're going to look at, Rachel, is that the right process? Should all of our information be gathered simply through law enforcement? We understand and respect what they go through and what job they have to do. And there are certain restrictions that they may be under.

      --Q: But they're saying they don't have a record of you guys asking for it.

      --RG: We asked for it on several occasions, according to our security department. We went through it. We asked for it on several occasions over the spring all the way through June. From February through June. So I'm confident that our people did that and so that's something that we'll have to discuss directly with them.

      --Q: I was in Minnesota on Sunday and I saw a mother with her two kids, both wearing Adrian Peterson jerseys. And she said, "I'm conflicted about this, I don't know what I should do. He's their favorite player." Obviously we had similar situation in Baltimore with Ray Rice. We've heard from the sponsors, they voiced. What is your message to the mother with the two kids who has Peterson jerseys and doesn't know what to tell them?

      --RG: The first thing is that we're like the broader society in several ways. We're like a microcosm of society. We have a lot of young men, a lot of individuals that play or coach or executives. Other individuals in the league that -- they make mistakes. And that is something that, while I'm disappointed in what Adrian Peterson was involved with, we want to see the facts. But I think what we've seen so far is tragic -- it's hard to look at. I have two daughters who are 13. It's very difficult to see and I think what we have to do is allow those facts to proceed. But the important message, I think for all of us as parents is that our children are going to make mistakes. They need to learn how to take responsibility and be accountable for those mistakes and deal with those. That's something that I and my wife Jane, we work very hard on with our kids. When you make a mistake, be accountable for it.

      --Q: In 2012 after Bounty-gate, you suspended Sean Payton for a year. You said "ignorance is not an excuse." A lot of people think you're not holding yourself to that same standard. Have you considered resigning at any point throughout this?

      --RG: I have not. I'm focused on doing my job to the best of my ability. I understand when people are critical of your performance. But we have a lot of work to do that's my focus. We've been busy in the last couple of weeks, we have results to show for it. We talked about some of them in my statement. But I'm proud of the opportunity that we have to try to make a difference here and do the right thing. We've acknowledged that we need to change what we're doing, now we have to get to what are those changes going to be?

      --Q: There's been a lot of high-profile, high level calls for your resignation. Following up on that question, what would you say to those people? Why do you feel that you should be able to continue in this role?

      --RG: Because I acknowledged my mistake. August 28th, I said: "we didn't get this right." We're going to make changes and are making those changes. We have a lot more work to be done but we're moving in a very important direction by getting expertise to say how do we do this better? We're all as a society having difficulty being able to deal with this. The NFL's got to take care of its house as I said. That's my focus is how do we do this better as the NFL and make sure that we keep everything on the table. We're going to make sure that we look at every aspect from the collection of evidence to how we go through the process, to who makes the determination and what the appeal process is. We'll make those changes that I feel will be beneficial to the league long-term. In addition, I think we can make some change and I think they'll be positive in the domestic violence and sexual assault areas, child abuse areas. Those are things that we think we can make a big difference on at some point in time. But we've better get our house in order first.

      -Q: You mentioned due process in your statement. Right now there is a lot of inconsistency. Ray McDonald is playing, Greg Hardy is not, Adrian Peterson is not, Jonathan Dwyer is not. You've got some guys on the exempt list, you've got some guys on the non-football illness list. Again I know you mentioned that you want to take a look at due process and when to act. That's a bit of slippery slope. How do you plan to handle that and do you have a list of what these guys are?

      --RG: You're highlighting exactly the point, Mike. That we need to change our policies and our procedures and we need to get some help in trying to identify how to do that. We have state laws that are different from state-to-state, and even locally. We need to make sure that we have looked at when the NFL should be involved in the investigative process. We need to know how much reliance we should have on the law enforcement information. And so you're highlighting exactly this issue which is that we aren't -- we do not have a clear and consistent policy that allows us to deal with all of the different issues that are arising and that's why we talked last month about 'we need to change our policies.' We need to go and get some experts to help us deal with some of those issues that are very complex about due process and making sure that we allow our employees the opportunity to be able to defend themselves but also make sure we're maintaining the integrity of the league and what we're doing. We have an obligation there and we're prepared to do that and we are going to do that.

      --Q: In your interview with CBS News almost two weeks ago you said Ray Rice was ambiguous about his description about what happened in the elevator and that is why you went back and suspended him further after the video came out. What exactly did Ray Rice tell you happened in the elevator? And how did what you thought in your mind happened differ from what we saw on the video?

      --RG: A couple of things. First off, as I said, we got new information from the first time I met with him to my initial discipline, which three weeks later I acknowledged was not sufficient. It was clear there was an act of domestic violence, but it was inconsistent with the way he described what happened. When we had that new information, we had the ability to say 'we're going to object and we're going to take additional action.' And that's what we did. There was new information that developed because we had not seen that second tape that became public roughly 10 days or so ago and that was not consistent with what he said.

      --Q: Commissioner, what did he say? What did he tell you?

      --RG: The one issue with this is this is now a matter of appeal. As you know, the NFLPA has appealed this. So it's a matter that is going to be taken up in the appeal. So without pre-judging or without getting into any specifics on this one I've got to respect the appeals process right now.

      --Q: But what about transparency? You keep talking about transparency. Why not say what he said?

      --RG: I'm telling you right now that it's inconsistent with what he told us, what we saw on that video that came out roughly 10 days ago. But we have a process right now. We have an appeals process. That information will come out at some point in time.

      -Q: The appeals process is not about those details, the appeals process is about multiple punishments for the same crimes. So given that fact that what he in fact did is not what the question is about.

      RG: Peter, I'm going to have to disagree with you then. That's something that the appeals officer is going to have to determine. We had not seen all of the papers on appeals. It is a fact that there is an appeal and they may be able to raise several issues in the context of that appeal. That's a decision that they have to make. I can't make that.

      --Q: Commissioner, you mentioned the two women's groups that NFL will be working with, can you tell how you will be assisting them. And to follow that up, if the 32 owners had a vote today about whether or not you should keep your job, what do you think the results would be?

      RG: That's a hypothetical which I can't deal with. We had 20 owners in the office this week for pre-scheduled committee meetings in preparation for our league meeting next month and we are just focusing on getting our work done. We had very productive meetings with them. The first part of your question was about the different organizations. What we saw in our contact -- because of the attention that was brought by the Ray Rice matter and potentially other issues coming to light -- this is something that became a need for what our experts tell us was happening in the community. What is happening is that it is clear there is a need for people to seek help in all communities. That's why they saw a spike in this. What we want to do is provide assistance to them and that was something we could do. We said to them that we want to be involved. We want to help and we will provide resources and assistance to be able to make sure that you can get the personnel there so that you can be able to answer those questions. We're pleased to be able to do that and we should be providing that type of assistance.

      --Q: The AP report about the video being sent to your office cites a voice mail where someone confirms receiving it. With that in mind how do you explain the leagues denial that they had the video?

      --RG: That's exactly why, as I mentioned in my statement, we hired Robert Mueller, the longest-serving FBI director, to make sure that Mueller and his staff go through and find as many facts as they can and they will report. It's independent. I don't know where he is on that. But all of that information will be something that Director Mueller will be dealing with.

      --Q: You've been clear throughout your tenure that you would be hard on people who committed crimes. Why do you think that the domestic violence crimes, such as Ray Rice, gave you such a difficult time and maybe weren't treated as harshly as some other crimes?

      --RG: I said early on that we made a mistake in letting our standards fall below where they should be. We should have had our personal conduct policy reviewed more frequently to make the changes necessary to deal with the issues of change. We last changed that policy on a broad perspective in 2007. It's had a positive impact on the overall number of criminal activity. But what we need to do is go back and say, 'Okay. We are in a different age now, with different issues and different challenges. Let's go back and figure out how to do that again.' And then do it in a consistent and fair way.

      --Q: Was there something about the domestic violence crimes -- these specific ones -- that made it more difficult to adjudicate them?

      --RG: I think the policy itself was, again, not up to standards. The standard discipline for that was way below what it should be. When we saw the first video it was horrifying. We went through the process and we disciplined it consistent with that policy. That wasn't sufficient, as I said. That was a mistake. We have to go back in our policy to say this isn't sufficient discipline. We met with a variety of experts on this. We came to a conclusion of what the discipline would be, at least as a standard, with aggravating circumstances, that could allow us some flexibility. Also, we would banish on a second offense. We took a strong position saying this is not acceptable. Now we have to get back into the more difficult work. How do we understand when the NFL should get involved in a particular situation with law enforcement with the criminal justice system? And how do we make sure our policies will give us the flexibility to deal with state laws that vary from state to state and to give us the consistency so that is more simple to make those decisions on a fair consistent basis.

      --Q: Do you still believe, to the best of your knowledge, that no one in the NFL office has seen the Ray Rice video before it surfaced on TMZ?

      --RG: Yes.

      --Q: Do you believe that right now, you have the full support of all 32 owners in the NFL, backing you in what you're doing right now?

      --RG: I believe I have the support of the owners. That has been clear to me. They obviously expect us to do a better job. As I said to several people, I don't' like to let down anybody. It starts with myself. I hold myself to the highest possible standards. So when I make a mistake or I don't get something right, it bother me more than anybody. I think the owners have seen that in me. I think they know that we have always tried to do the right thing. Mistakes happen and I'm sorry for that. We're going to get this right.

      --Q: You've announced a new personal conduct committee. What will your role be with that? Are you reducing your role or your power in these kinds of cases by having that committee?

      --RG: We will have to develop it further to see who will be on it and whether we will have outside expertise that will join that. It's really about what are the standards and what's the conduct we want in the NFL. How do we want to represent ourselves and what's important to us as a league? We want to make sure that we are holding ourselves to that standard and maybe exceed it. That's the right thing, we want to exceed every single standard we set. That's what I expect this conduct committee to do. Similar to the competition committee, how do we improve everything we are doing? Evaluate it on a regular basis. If our personal conduct policy needs to be changed and updated we need to do that and I expect that the conduct committee would do that.

      --Q: A number of corporate sponsors have put our disapproving statements in the last week. How many difficult conversations have you had with your business partners and how many have suggested that if things did not improve they would pull out and did you specifically talk to Anheuser Bush. Who put out a specifically disapproving comment?

      --RG: It starts with myself. I am disappointed in myself. I disappointed our fans, our partners and we need to do better. I made that clear on August 28th to our ownership. And I've made it clear since. I made it clear to sponsors directly that we are going to do better in this area. There are things that we need to clean up in our house and make sure that we get right and we will. And we will make a difference in this area. Now we have to deliver.

      --Q: Were you close to losing a sponsor?

      --RG: You'll have to speak to the sponsors about that. I don't believe so. No.

      --Q: Just to piggy back off of that question. What are your thoughts that Procter and Gamble pulled its sponsorship plug today?

      --RG: We've been in contact with our sponsors. Several of them have promotions in the marketplace that are inconsistent with what's going on here and we understand that. What we said is that we are going to clean up our house. We are going to get this straight and we are going to make a difference and they want to see us make that difference. That's up to deliver on that. They want to see us achieve that. They are not looking for talk they want to see action. That's what we are looking for. That's why we've been focused over that couple weeks so hard on getting it right. Doing the things we said we were going to do and get it right and do the hard work. This is not a quick fix this is something we've got to work hard at and we will.

      --Q: You talked about establishing a personal conduct committee and you said the goal was to be completed by the Super Bowl. What is to be completed by the Super Bowl? Because aren't these issues constantly evolving personal issues?

      --RG: Yes and that's why we want to get to work immediately. The conduct committee is not the committee that I would expect to make the changes in the personal conduct policy. What we have to do, and I spoke to De about this, is reach out for experts in the area. Some may be in law enforcement, some may be in the criminal justice system, some may be experts in the domestic violence or sexual assault or child abuse areas and bring all of those experts and their views on this of how we can improve the policy. Everything from how we collect information to when the NFL is involved with law enforcement or do we have a separate investigation? And those are all difficult issues to ensure them due process. Anybody is involved but also make sure we are maintaining the integrity of the NFL.

      --Q: So the idea is to have the committee in place by the Super Bowl or to start making some of those decisions?

      --RG: I expect I will have the committee in place by the Super Bowl, yes.

      --Q: I wondered if you personally have ever been involved in n abuse situation in any capacity and then secondly if you anticipate any personnel changes if not change in commissioner, how can you bring meaningful change and credible change and change the culture and change the attitude without a change in personnel?

      RG: The first answer to your question is I have not. The second answer to your question is we are making personnel changes. We announced several of them over the last week. We have more to come. We're looking to see how do we strengthen our team in this area, how do we bring the right voices to the table to make changes not only to what we do, but more broadly. And so I expect personnel changes will continue, that's part of how we get better, that's part of how we evolve and learn from our mistakes and do a better job going forward.

      --Q: Two things, one is when you made the original suspension two games were any women advising you? And second, in the personal conduct policy that you're revising, are you willing to put that into the CBA?

      --RG: On the first one I think you are pointing out exactly what we're concerned about. It's that we didn't have the right voices at the table. We need to get better expertise. Some of you know, we announced earlier this week that Lisa Friel is joining us as a former chief of sex crimes in downtown New York. I think she is going to be able to provide a very valuable perspective for us -- an understanding of the criminal justice system, particularly in this area and those are the types of people we want to have as part of our organization, as part of our decision making process.

      --Q: There's a lot of confusion from fans out there about the mistake you say that you made. You talk about your investigative department at the NFL, regardless of what Mr. Rice said on June 16, regardless of what was on that second video tape, on the initial summons, it clearly says that Mr. Rice struck Janay Palmer with his hand rendering her unconscious. Why wasn't it enough then to put this right?

      --RG: Well it was, and we saw obviously the original video and it was clear that a domestic violence violation had occurred. That was clear to us and it was horrifying and that's why we took the step we did. We did the two-game suspension and a fine of $500,000. It was not sufficient and that's because our policies, as I indicated earlier, had fallen behind where we need them to be. We needed to get those policies in a position where the standard for that kind of violation has to be much higher. And that's why three weeks later we raised that standard and said this is not going to be acceptable behavior and when it occurs, it's a minimum six-game, or the standard six-game, with aggravating circumstances that we could consider and have additional penalties if necessary.

      --Q: You mentioned Robert Mueller's investigation as key to solving all of these issues, I'm not going to sit here and discuss the integrity of the ex-Director of the FBI, I could leave it as a given that he's a man of integrity, but the law firm that he works for and that will help him carry out that investigation is a law firm with extremely close ties to the NFL. You guys paid that law firm recently to help you negotiate some television deals, the President of the Ravens will be key in this whole investigation, worked at that law firm for more than 30 years, why hire someone with even the appearance of impropriety and how do you expect this to affect everything?

      --RG: Well, Rachel, I would respectfully disagree because you now are questioning the integrity of the Director of the FBI. Yes, that firm has represented us in the past, but they have also been on the other side in litigation against the NFL. So, this is a highly respected individual that served as Director of the FBI, the longest-serving Director in the history of that position. His credentials are unparalleled and unquestioned.

      --Q: But part of the idea of this I guess is to restore public trust. So even if he does a flawless investigation, isn't there an element here that you're leaving the door open for doubt?

      --: RG: Well, Rachel, unfortunately we live in a world where there's a lot of litigation. There's a lot of law firms a lot for people that had maybe some interaction with us in the past. Robert Mueller has not. Law firms may have, but we were hiring Robert Mueller and his credentials, his credibility to do an independent investigation reporting to the owners and I am confident that that will be the case.

      --Q: Has Robert Mueller interviewed you? It's been a week since you announced it.

      --RG: That is something that Robert Mueller is going to have to announce. We are not disclosing or involving, he's running an independent investigation. He will meet with anybody he wishes whenever he wishes. He will get full cooperation from me or anybody else in the building. I am not making any comments specifically on the investigation. He has full access. If he feels he wants to speak to anybody, he will do that.

      --Q: I have to go back into the video and your curiosity to see the video. You suspended Ray Rice after our video, why didn't you have the curiosity to go to the casino yourself?

      --RG: Two things. We suspended Ray Rice originally after seeing the original video that was disclosed back in February. When the second video came out last week, that's when we increased our discipline because that was inconsistent with the information we had, it was new information. One of the things that I said in my statement, and I've said it repeatedly here, is that that is part of what we want to do with all of our experts, outside, internal, is try to figure out how should we investigate these issues? In the past, we have been almost completely reliant on working with law enforcement and cooperating with them. We do not want to interfere with a criminal investigation. In particular here, when you're dealing with a casino in New Jersey, there are even more restrictions because it's overseen I believe by the Attorney General. So, we have to be very cautious in not interfering with a criminal investigation, but we'll evaluate that. Should we do more to get that information? I would have loved to see that tape. Should we get more to do that information in the future? That's a question I want these experts to do.

      --Q: We found out by one phone call, you guys have a whole legal department. Can you explain that?

      --RG: I can't explain how you got the information, only you can do that.

      --Q: Do you regret having Ray and Janay Rice in the same room together when you met with them and secondly, have you decided who will be hearing the appeal for Ray Rice in your office?

      --RG: I have not on the second part of your question. I'll be making that decision shortly. Someone else will be hearing that case. On your first part is, yes. Its part of the learnings that we've had throughout this is that there are certain proper ways of having those kinds of discussions when couples are going through domestic violence issues and we have learned that. And we have learned that from our experts, they said we shouldn't have them in the same room or we should give them the opportunity to speak separately also. And that's something that we have learned from this and we will correct going forward.

      --Q: What do you say to the one individual in the NFL right now under scrutiny who has been convicted of attacking his girlfriend? What's your language that you would say to him if he were standing in front t of you?

      --RG: We're disappointed in where he is. We think what he did and what he was involved with, at least what's alleged in the court records -- he was convicted and then what happens when he appeals that is it's wiped out until he goes to a jury trial. Again, you're highlighting exactly the issue that we're concerned about, which is when do we engage? There was a conviction, it then gets removed until the jury trial and then should we let that go all the way through?

      --Q: It's obvious when you look out on the field, a lot of these players, it's a diverse crowd, a lot of the players that have been highlighted recently are African-American. Can you justify not having an African-American as part of that group of women that you hired to look into sexual assault and domestic violence?

      --RG: That's not true. We have internal experts that have been working on this that are people of color, that are women and men and they have been involved in this process from the beginning. In addition, as I've said in my statement, is that we will continually evaluate. Do we need other resources, do we need other individuals, do we need other organizations?

      --Q: Can you talk about that organization that's supposed to be the forefront of domestic violence and sexual assault, was there any consideration talking about the women who are at the forefront advising on those issues?

      --RG: Those three women are advising us, as well as we have full-time staff including an African-American woman who has great experience in this area and has been involved in this for several years with the NFL and has been on the NCAA level. So we understand the need for diversity, it's important for us and we will always look to do whatever we can to improve on that.

      -- The Sports Xchange redistributed separately the transcription of Goodell's opening statement.

  • Saturday, September 20, 2014
    One suspension ends, another begins for Dolphins' Jordan
    By The Sports Xchange

    DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan was relieved of one suspension and then hit with another on Friday.

    • After a four-game suspension was lifted for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Jordan was slapped with a four-game banishment for substance abuse.

      That means Jordan, the No. 3 pick of the 2013 draft, will sit out a total of six games this season because of suspensions.

      He'll be eligible to rejoin the team on Oct. 20. Previously, he would have been able to return Sept. 29.

      "I am currently undergoing treatment to address my situation," Jordan said in a statement. "I am working hard to become a better man and to make better choices in the future. I am especially looking forward to returning to the team. I also want to thank my family, coach (Joe) Philbin and the Miami Dolphins organization for their support."

      Jordan had 26 tackles and two sacks last season during a disappointing rookie year. He added 15 pounds of muscle during the offseason and seemed on track to be an impact player until he was suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Now comes the new suspension.

      Philbin said the team is "disappointed" in Jordan's new suspension.

      "We were informed that Dion's suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was lifted," Philbin said in a statement, "however, we also learned that he has been suspended four games for violating the Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances.

      "While we were disappointed to learn of this result, we support Dion for proactively taking steps to voluntarily seek treatment to better himself. We will continue to support and work with him as he takes advantage of all available resources during this time."

  • Saturday, September 20, 2014
    NFL Week 3 Injury Report -- Friday
    By The Sports Xchange

    NFL Injury Report for games Sunday

    • Official Friday report, 9-19-14

      BALTIMORE RAVENS at CLEVELAND BROWNS

      BALTIMORE RAVENS

      --DOUBTFUL: DT Timmy Jernigan (knee)

      --QUESTIONABLE: RB Bernard Pierce (thigh)

      --PROBABLE: QB Joe Flacco (illness), CB Asa Jackson (concussion), T Eugene Monroe (knee), CB Lardarius Webb (back)

      CLEVELAND BROWNS

      --OUT: RB Ben Tate (knee)

      --QUESTIONABLE: TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder).

      --PROBABLE: WR Travis Benjamin (knee), DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), DE John Hughes (hamstring), P Spencer Lanning (shoulder), G Paul McQuistan (ankle), CB Buster Skrine (thumb)

      DALLAS COWBOYS at ST. LOUIS RAMS

      DALLAS COWBOYS

      --OUT: DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), DE Anthony Spencer (knee)

      --DOUBTFUL: LB Rolando McClain (groin)

      --QUESTIONABLE: WR Dez Bryant (shoulder), DE Lavar Edwards (knee), TE Gavin Escobar (knee), RB Joseph Randle (concussion)

      --PROBABLE: DT Ken Bishop (illness), G Zack Martin (foot), QB Tony Romo (back), DE George Selvie (shoulder)

      ST. LOUIS RAMS

      --OUT: CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), CB Brandon McGee (foot)

      --QUESTIONABLE: WR Tavon Austin (knee), TE Cory Harkey (knee), QB Shaun Hill (thigh)

      --PROBABLE: G Rodger Saffold (illness), C Scott Wells (not injury related)

      DENVER BRONCOS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

      DENVER BRONCOS

      --OUT: LB Lerentee McCray (knee)

      --QUESTIONABLE: LB Danny Trevathan (knee)

      --PROBABLE: DT Marvin Austin (not injury related), S David Bruton (shoulder), S Quinton Carter (knee), T Ryan Clady (foot), G Ben Garland (ankle), CB Chris Harris (knee), K Brandon McManus (right groin), LB Von Miller (groin)

      SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

      --OUT: CB Tharold Simon (knee)

      --QUESTIONABLE: LB Bruce Irvin (rib)

      --PROBABLE: S Kam Chancellor (ankle), TE Cooper Helfet (knee), RB Marshawn Lynch (back), RB Christine Michael (hamstring), TE Zach Miller (ankle), LB Michael Morgan (hip), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring)

      GREEN BAY PACKERS at DETROIT LIONS

      GREEN BAY PACKERS

      --OUT: LB Brad Jones (quadriceps), LB Andy Mulumba (knee)

      --QUESTIONABLE: T Bryan Bulaga (knee), CB Casey Hayward (glute)

      --PROBABLE: S Micah Hyde (knee)

      DETROIT LIONS

      --OUT: LB Travis Lewis (quadricep), CB Cassius Vaughn (ankle), T LaAdrian Waddle (calf)

      --DOUBTFUL: S James Ihedigbo (neck), RB Montell Owens (hamstring)

      --QUESTIONABLE: DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), DT Nick Fairley (biceps), DE George Johnson (groin)

      --PROBABLE: RB Joique Bell (knee), S Don Carey (hamstring)

      HOUSTON TEXANS at NEW YORK GIANTS

      HOUSTON TEXANS

      --OUT: LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), S Shiloh Keo (calf)

      --QUESTIONABLE: RB Arian Foster (hamstring), G Ben Jones (ankle, knee), S D.J. Swearinger (elbow)

      --PROBABLE: LB Akeem Dent (hamstring), TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), TE Garrett Graham (ankle), WR DeAndre Hopkins (illness), DE Tim Jamison (groin), WR Andre Johnson (ankle), CB Johnathan Joseph (foot), DT Louis Nix (wrist), RB Jay Prosch (hand)

      NEW YORK GIANTS

      --OUT: LB Jon Beason (foot, toe), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring)

      --QUESTIONABLE: T James Brewer (back), T Charles Brown (shoulder), P Steve Weatherford (left ankle)

      --PROBABLE: DT Markus Kuhn (ankle)

      INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

      INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

      --OUT: LB Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), DT Arthur Jones (ankle)

      --QUESTIONABLE: DE Ricky Jean Francois (ankle), WR Hakeem Nicks (illness), G Joe Reitz (ankle)

      --PROBABLE: CB Darius Butler (neck), WR T.Y. Hilton (groin), C Khaled Holmes (ankle), CB Gregory Toler (ribs)

      JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

      --OUT: WR Marqise Lee (hamstring)

      --QUESTIONABLE: TE Clay Harbor (calf)

      --PROBABLE: CB Alan Ball (abdomen), DE Chris Clemons (illness), S Johnathan Cyprien (concussion), RB Toby Gerhart (foot), S Winston Guy (illness), CB Jeremy Harris (illness), WR Allen Hurns (ankle), RB Storm Johnson (ankle), T Austin Pasztor (hand), LB Paul Posluszny (knee), WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring), TE Mickey Shuler (heel)

      KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at MIAMI DOLPHINS

      KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

      --OUT: S Eric Berry (ankle), RB De'Anthony Thomas (hamstring)

      --QUESTIONABLE: RB Jamaal Charles (ankle)

      --PROBABLE: S Husain Abdullah (foot, quadricep), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), LB Tamba Hali (ankle, knee), C Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, tricep)

      MIAMI DOLPHINS

      --OUT: LB Koa Misi (ankle), RB Knowshon Moreno (elbow), G Shelley Smith (knee)

      --DOUBTFUL: DE Terrence Fede (knee), C Mike Pouncey (hip), LB Jordan Tripp (chest)

      --QUESTIONABLE: TE Charles Clay (knee), G Billy Turner (foot)

      --PROBABLE: S Walt Aikens (hand), T Branden Albert (shoulder), S Louis Delmas (calf), LB Jonathan Freeny (calf), DT Bruce Gaston (knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (shoulder), LB Philip Wheeler (thumb)

      MINNESOTA VIKINGS at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

      MINNESOTA VIKINGS

      --QUESTIONABLE: LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib), WR Rodney Smith (hamstring), LB Brandon Watts (knee)

      --PROBABLE: DT Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), T Phil Loadholt (ankle), LB Michael Mauti (foot), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (chest), CB Xavier Rhodes (groin), TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen)

      NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

      --OUT: S Marcus Ball (hamstring), LB David Hawthorne (ankle), RB Mark Ingram (hand), RB Erik Lorig (ankle)

      --QUESTIONABLE: C Tim Lelito (back)

      --PROBABLE: C Jonathan Goodwin (elbow), LB Kyle Knox (ankle), LB Curtis Lofton (shoulder), WR Joe Morgan (knee)

      OAKLAND RAIDERS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

      OAKLAND RAIDERS

      --OUT: LB Sio Moore (ankle)

      --QUESTIONABLE: CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand), T Matt McCants (knee), LB Nick Roach (concussion), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DT Antonio Smith (back), WR Rod Streater (hip)

      --PROBABLE: DE Justin Tuck (illness)

      NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

      --QUESTIONABLE: DE Michael Buchanan (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), S Don Jones (hamstring), RB Shane Vereen (shoulder), C Ryan Wendell (knee)

      --PROBABLE: G Dan Connolly (knee), WR Julian Edelman (back), TE Rob Gronkowski (knee), DT Sealver Siliga (hand)

      SAN DIEGO CHARGERS at BUFFALO BILLS

      SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

      --OUT: LB Melvin Ingram (hamstring), RB Ryan Mathews (knee)

      --QUESTIONABLE: S Jahleel Addae (hamstring), WR Keenan Allen (groin), LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring)

      --PROBABLE: CB Chris Davis (ankle), CB Brandon Flowers (groin), TE Antonio Gates (hamstring), DE Corey Liuget (ankle), G Rich Ohrnberger (back), G Johnnie Troutman (back)

      BUFFALO BILLS

      --OUT: LB Randell Johnson (knee), S Jonathan Meeks (neck)

      --DOUBTFUL: LB Keith Rivers (groin)

      --PROBABLE: DT Stefan Charles (hip), TE Lee Smith (toe), WR Sammy Watkins (ribs), G Chris Williams (back), WR Robert Woods (ankle)

      SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at ARIZONA CARDINALS

      SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

      --OUT: C Marcus Martin (knee)

      --QUESTIONABLE: CB Tramaine Brock (toe), T Anthony Davis (hamstring), TE Vernon Davis (ankle, knee), TE Vance McDonald (knee)

      --PROBABLE: RB Carlos Hyde (calf), QB Colin Kaepernick (back), DE Justin Smith (not injury related), T Joe Staley (knee)

      ARIZONA CARDINALS

      --OUT: LB Alex Okafor (thigh), P Dave Zastudil (left groin)

      --QUESTIONABLE: TE Rob Housler (hip), QB Carson Palmer (right shoulder), DT Frostee Rucker (calf)

      --PROBABLE: RB Andre Ellington (foot), LB Larry Foote (shoulder), LB Kevin Minter (quadricep), C Lyle Sendlein (ankle)

      TENNESSEE TITANS at CINCINNATI BENGALS

      TENNESSEE TITANS

      --QUESTIONABLE: CB Jason McCourty (groin)

      --PROBABLE: RB Dexter McCluster (foot), QB Charlie Whitehurst (right finger), LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle)

      CINCINNATI BENGALS

      --OUT: WR Marvin Jones (foot), TE Alex Smith (biceps)

      --DOUBTFUL: LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), RB Rex Burkhead (knee), LB Sean Porter (hamstring), DT Brandon Thompson (knee), G Kevin Zeitler (calf)

      --PROBABLE: DE Carlos Dunlap (knee), WR A.J. Green (toe), G Mike Pollak (knee), T Andrew Whitworth (knee), S Shawn Williams (groin)

      WASHINGTON REDSKINS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

      WASHINGTON REDSKINS

      --OUT: QB Robert Griffin (ankle), LB Akeem Jordan (knee), CB Tracy Porter (hamstring), TE Jordan Reed (hamstring)

      --DOUBTFUL: DE Kedric Golston (groin)

      --QUESTIONABLE: K Kai Forbath (right groin), WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), C Kory Lichtensteiger (groin)

      --PROBABLE: S Ryan Clark (foot), RB Roy Helu (quadriceps), G Shawn Lauvao (knee), LB Brian Orakpo (ankle), RB Darrel Young (neck)

      PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

      --OUT: LB Mychal Kendricks (calf)

      --DOUBTFUL: WR Josh Huff (shoulder)

      --QUESTIONABLE: T Matt Tobin (ankle), S Earl Wolff (knee)

      --PROBABLE: CB Nolan Carroll (elbow), DE Fletcher Cox (back), TE Zach Ertz (knee), G Todd Herremans (hamstring), S Malcolm Jenkins (shoulder), WR Brad Smith (groin), CB Jaylen Watkins (hamstring), CB Cary Williams (hamstring)

      PITTSBURGH STEELERS at CAROLINA PANTHERS on Sunday night

      PITTSBURGH STEELERS

      --DOUBTFUL: RB Dri Archer (ankle)

      --QUESTIONABLE: G Ramon Foster (ankle)

      --PROBABLE: WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder), DE Brett Keisel (not injury related), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder), TE Heath Miller (not injury related), WR Lance Moore (groin), S Troy Polamalu (not injury related)

      CAROLINA PANTHERS

      --DOUBTFUL: RB Fozzy Whittaker (thigh)

      --QUESTIONABLE: WR Jason Avant (thigh), WR Jerricho Cotchery (thigh), RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh)

      --PROBABLE: T Byron Bell (toe), WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), WR Corey Brown (ankle), T Nate Chandler (toe), DT Colin Cole (not injury related), LB Thomas Davis (hip), DT Dwan Edwards (back), TE Greg Olsen (calf), RB Mike Tolbert (chest), T Garry Williams (thigh)

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Report: Harbaugh sought Rice's removal in February
    By The Sports Xchange

    Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh wanted the team to cut Ray Rice in February when video surfaced that showed the running back dragging his unconscious wife out of an elevator in Atlantic City, N.J., ESPN reported Friday.

    • Rice wasn't released by the Ravens until the full video of the incident obtained by TMZ showed Rice knocking out his wife with a punch in the elevator and then dragging her out the door at the hotel-casino.

      Numerous sources told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that Harbaugh was shocked by what he saw and heard back in February and expressed his desire to have Rice removed from the team at that time. But owner Steve Bischiotti, president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome resisted.

      According to the ESPN report, team executives knew everything that happened with Rice in February and Cass apparently received a full report from Rice's lawyer in April.

      The Ravens denied Friday that Harbaugh sought to have Rice removed from the roster in February.

      "The ESPN.com 'Outside the Lines' article contains numerous errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions and, perhaps, misunderstandings," the team said Friday night in a statement. "The Ravens will address all of these next week in Baltimore after our trip to Cleveland for Sunday's game against the Browns."

      ESPN also reported that Harbaugh in March wanted to get rid of Rice and two other Ravens players involved in off-the-field incidents -- offensive lineman Jah Reid and wide receiver Deonte Thompson -- but again was overruled. Reid was arrested and charged with two counts of battery and Thompson had been arrested.

      According to "Outside the Lines," Newsome believed the Ravens could weather the storm as they had done when former linebacker Ray Lewis and running back Jamal Lewis faced legal issues in the early 2000s.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Smug Goodell keeps NFL machine churning, ignores real change
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Roger Goodell made it abundantly clear Friday afternoon: He's not going anywhere.

    • Goodell, conducting his first news conference since a video showed Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee surfaced and a grand jury indicted Adrian Peterson for beating at least one of his children, said he has no plans to resign and that he doesn't believe he's in danger of being fired by NFL owners.

      "I believe I have the support of the owners," Goodell said in Manhattan.

      And he probably still does, even after a news conference in which he was equal parts arrogant and tone-deaf in declaring that he wanted the league's soon-to-be-revamped personal conduct policy to leave players and their families as protected off the field as the NFL's competition committee protects players on it.

      "Through this process of evaluation and reform, we keep the game competitive, entertaining -- and most importantly, do everything we can to protect our players on the field from injury," Goodell said.

      Please ignore that $765 million the NFL spent to settle with the more than 4,500 players that sued the league for its role in creating their long-term, concussion-related medical problems. Also ignore that Paul Tagliabue, Goodell's predecessor, said in 1994 that the number of concussions in the NFL "is relatively small" and that the idea the NFL had a concussion epidemic was a "journalist issue."

      As for the personal conduct policy that initially dictated a two-game penalty for Rice?

      "We're in a different age now, with different issues and different challenges," Goodell said.

      Apparently, spousal abuse began in 2008.

      But the Rice and Peterson issues speak to the all-encompassing problem in a league whose ugliness has long been allowed to simmer just below the made-for-TV surface: Teams have long tolerated abhorrent behavior, as long as it was executed by a really good player.

      Hours after Goodell's news conference, ESPN reported the Baltimore Ravens saw the elevator footage of Rice pummeling his then-fiancée unconscious -- the footage TMZ released on Sept. 8 -- within hours of the incident but continued to push for a minimal ban.

      The Minnesota Vikings garnered plenty of praise for deactivating Peterson on Sept. 12, the same day he was indicted on child abuse charges in Texas. But the Vikings reinstated Peterson on Sept. 15, one day after a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots.

      A day later, TMZ reported Peterson was under investigation for abusing another one of his children. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the Vikings announced Peterson had been placed on the "exempt/commissioner's permission" list, which means he is inactive but still receives his salary.

      All of which is to say: Where is the venom for the men who own the teams that failed to properly punish Rice, Peterson and Greg Hardy, the Carolina Panthers defensive lineman who was convicted of domestic assault in July yet didn't get banned by the Panthers until the Rice/Peterson fallout? There are 29 other franchises, and not one is exempt from such questioning.

      Want to know why Goodell isn't likely to resign or get fired? Because like any commissioner, he's paid very well -- $44 million last year, for crying out loud -- to absorb the slings and arrows that should probably be aimed at those that really run the sport.

      His job is probably also safe because early indications are these latest scandals will not impact football's popularity -- unlike two decades ago, when the World Series-killing strike took a lasting toll on baseball.

      Eighty-six percent of those queried in a Marist poll conducted this week said the NFL's recent spate of bad news would have no bearing on their consumption of football. Only 29 percent said Goodell should lose his job.

      The average attendance at a Major League Baseball game in 1994 was 31,612. It fell to 25,260 once players returned to work in 1995 and didn't hit 30,000 again until 2000, well into the Steroid Era.

      Of the 28 NFL teams to play a home game this season, 21 have played to at least 95 percent capacity. Last year, 22 of the 32 teams played to at least 95 percent capacity.

      The news is even better on TV, which is where the NFL really makes its money. "Sunday Night Football" has been the top-rated network show in each of the last four seasons, and NBC's first two Sunday night telecasts this season each topped the weekly ratings.

      In other words: Despite the criminal behavior of some of the best players in the game, and the toll it takes on their bodies now and in the future, we're still going to games, watching on TV and fully investing in our fantasy football teams.

      "We will get our house in order," Goodell said.

      Even if the occupants -- and their guests -- seem content with the way things are.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Protective order sought for Peterson's son
    By The Sports Xchange

    Minnesota officials filed a petition Friday seeking a protective order for the 4-year-old son of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

    • Hennepin County (Minn.) Human Services authorities want to keep Peterson from having unauthorized or unsupervised contact with his son. The order also asks a judge to block Peterson from using corporal punishment or physical discipline on the boy.

      The order also requires Peterson to complete a parenting assessment.

      Peterson was indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, last week on one count of reckless or negligent injury to a child. He allegedly whipped his son with a wooden switch, causing bruises and wounds to the boy's body.

      According to a police report, Peterson whipped his son on May 18. The whipping left lacerations and bruises that were discovered during a doctor's visit after the boy returned home to his mother's home.

      The Minnesota Vikings have placed Peterson on the NFL's exempt list.

      Peterson has told investigators that he also used a belt to discipline his son.

      An Oct. 8 arraignment has been scheduled.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    NFL roundup: Goodell vows conduct policy changes
    By The Sports Xchange

    For the first time in more than a week, commissioner Roger Goodell addressed domestic violence issues and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy during a Friday news conference in New York.

    • With his integrity in question, and possibly his job as commissioner on the line, Goodell said "he got it wrong" when it came to the recent Ray Rice incident. He promised he "will get it right" going forward.

      "We have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong," Goodell said. "That starts with me."

      Goodell, who made his first public comments since Sept. 10, vowed there will be positive changes and "everything is on the table." He specifically mentioned changes to the NFL Conduct Policy, but first, the commissioner's office has to take care of its own house.

      "We will get it right. It won't be easy, but we will get it right," he said.

      Goodell wants to create a personal conduct committee to oversee the type of conduct that is expected from everyone in the league. The committee will help decide "how we represent ourselves and how can we hold ourselves to that standard."

      Goodell stressed the league has the opportunity to create change across all levels of society.

      "There will be changes to the personal conduct policy. I know this ... nothing is off the table. We will implement new -- clear and transparent -- conduct polices for owners and players," Goodell said, adding he hopes to have these changes implemented by the Super Bowl.

      Goodell said he understands the criticism heaped on him and that he had not considered stepping down.

      --The NFL has teamed up with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to provide "much-needed resources" to the organization in order to help women who have been abused.

      A hotline spokesperson told ESPN.com that the commitment was a "multiyear, multimillion dollar deal."

      The organization said that just days after the release of a video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching and knocking out his then-fiancee and now-wife, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City hotel casino elevator in February, the Hotline's call volume increased by 84 percent.

      The calls have remained higher than normal with spikes happening after each new report about domestic violence charges against NFL players.

      --Fallout from the NFL's off-field domestic violence issue has prompted Procter & Gamble to withdraw from taking part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, according to multiple reports.

      CBSSports.com reported that P&G's Crest brand had been working on the campaign, which involved all the teams and "player-ambassadors." Players would have worn pink mouthguards and engaged in social media on a variety of platforms.

      Proctor & Gamble released a statement saying, "Domestic violence is completely unacceptable and we have strongly urged the NFL to take swift and decisive action to address this issue. ... Our decision to cancel this on field activity was related to this ongoing issue."

      --Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to team owners that all NFL personnel will undergo domestic violence awareness training.

      The letter stated that personnel and staff will be required to undergo training on the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault starting within 30 days.

      The letter also informs owners of new partnerships with several groups, including funding for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, an online forum for teens called Loveisrespect that offers chat advice on dating abuse and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

      --Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon's season-long suspension was reduced to 10 games on the heels of the NFL and NFLPA approving a new substance-abuse policy Friday.

      Gordon will be eligible to return against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 23 provided he meets the terms of the new policy.

      He also will be allowed to return to the Browns' facility to condition and take part in meetings. He is not allowed to practice until the week before the Atlanta game.

      --DAVIE, Fla. -- Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan had his four-game suspension for violating the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances lifted, but he was slapped with a separate four-game suspension for violating the NFL's Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.

      That means Jordan, the No. 3 pick of the 2013 draft, will serve a total of six games on suspension this season.

      He'll be eligible to re-join the team on Oct. 20. Previously, he would have been able to re-join the team Sept. 29.

      --The New York Giants ruled middle linebacker Jon Beason out of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans with a toe/foot injury.

      Coach Tom Coughlin said Beason went to North Carolina to visit foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson.

      There was hope that Beason might be recovered enough to play Sunday. He had shed a protective boot on Thursday, but the team medical staff determined that it would be best for him to sit out at least this week.

      --The Dallas Cowboys might not know until Sunday if quarterback Tony Romo will have his most dangerous downfield target against the St. Louis Rams after wide receiver Dez Bryant was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.

      Bryant took part in limited practice for the second consecutive day, but is confident he will be on the field come game day.

      "I'll be ready to roll on Sunday," he told the team's website. "Nothing is going to keep me out."

      Romo, who sat out Wednesday's practice with a stiff back, is listed as probable and will play.

      --Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles returned to limited practice, just five days after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Denver Broncos.

      The Chiefs are waiting to see how his ankle responds before determining his status for Sunday's game at the Miami Dolphins.

      "He did practice and he moved around and did a decent job," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "So, we'll see how it all works out.

      --Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson was officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game at the Philadelphia Eagles and is expected to be a game-day decision. Jackson suffered a sprained shoulder in Week 2, and returned to limited practice for the first time.

      "He was very limited," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson's work Friday. "But I think it was a step in the positive direction. (We will) get an

      --Thousands of Baltimore Ravens fans lined up to exchange their Ray Rice jerseys and cut ties with the former running back who was once one of the team's most popular players.

      Fans went to M&T Bank Stadium to trade for an available jersey of another Ravens player.

      The Ravens released Rice last week after a second video emerged of him knocking out his then-fiance and now-wife, Janay, unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator in February. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely.

      --Hall of Famer Jerry Rice wants to see the San Francisco 49ers bench defensive lineman Ray McDonald while the criminal investigation of his arrest for domestic violence continues.

      Rice joins his former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Steve Young, who offered the same opinion on ESPN's "Monday Night Countdown" last week.

      McDonald was arrested Aug. 31 on suspicion of domestic violence. He was accused of hitting his pregnant fiancee. He has not been charged and has started both of the 49ers' games.

      --The Arizona Cardinals placed linebacker John Abraham on season-ending injured reserve due to ongoing concussion issues.

      Abraham left the team last week after suffering from memory loss due to concussions, but returned to the team Monday. Unfortunately, he was never able to get through the concussion protocol.

      By coming back and being put on IR, Abraham still receives his $3 million salary.

      --Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, who has been dealing with a toe ailment, proclaimed himself ready for Sunday's game against the visiting Tennessee Titans.

      Green was limited in Thursday's practice, but indicated he would be full-go Friday. He ended up taking only five plays in the victory over Atlanta last Sunday. He had six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening win in Baltimore.

      "It was good, it wasn't sore," Green said of how it reacted to Thursday's workout. "I think I will (play) Sunday."

      --The Indianapolis Colts ruled out linebacker Jerrell Freeman and defensive end Arthur Jones for Sunday's game at Jacksonville.

      Freeman has been nursing a hamstring injury that also forced him to miss Monday night's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

      Jones will be sidelined two to four weeks while recovering from a high-ankle sprain suffered in the Eagles game.

      --San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram has been ruled out of Sunday's game at Buffalo.

      Ingram has been dealing with hamstring issues, sitting out this week's practices. Wide receiver Keenan Allen provided some encouragement with his participation during Friday practice. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.

      Running back Ryan Mathews was officially ruled out. Mathews has a sprained MCL in his right knee and could miss four to five weeks.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Ryan: Falcons' serious talk led to sizzling action
    By The Sports Xchange

    FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is once again making a statement that he should be a part of the conversation as one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.

    • On Thursday night, Matty Ice was very nice.

      After looking less than pedestrian while throwing three interceptions against Cincinnati, Ryan missed on only three of his 24 passes while leading the Falcons to a 56-14 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

      Ryan was not pleased with how things went in Cincinnati.

      "We talked about all week that we wanted to start fast and rebound from last week," Ryan said. "I thought we did a great job of that collectively, all three phases.

      "With that being said, even as good as tonight was, I think there are areas where we can improve and get better. All in all, there was really good effort. I loved the energy from all three phases. We got the job done."

      After playing three games in the first 12 days of the season, the Falcons can relax and point to playing the Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings while going into their mini-bye week.

      Unless there's another quick turn in the situation, Peterson likely will not face the Falcons.

      "I'm sure it changes what they are going to try to do," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "(Norv) Turner is their offensive coordinator. He's been doing it a long time in the NFL."

      Ryan passed for a career-high 448 yards in leading the Falcons to a 37-34 overtime win over the Saints. Against the Bengals, he threw three interceptions and had a sub-50 passer rating for just the fourth time in his first 96 regular-season games.

      Against Tampa Bay, Ryan had a record-breaking night. He passed for 286 yards with three touchdowns and a career-high 155.9 passer rating.

      Ryan's 87.5 completion percentage and his 155.9 quarterback rating set franchise records for a game.

      Ryan previously shared the club record for completion percentage with quarterback Steve Bartkowski at 85.7. He broke quarterback Wade Wilson's passer rating record for a game of 154.5.

      "Absolutely, I think in this league there are going to be weeks where it's tough, especially on the road," Ryan said. "Sometimes you don't play as well as you like. Good teams respond and good teams come back and play better the following week."

      The Falcons jumped out to a 56-0 lead before easing off the gas pedal with 4:59 left in the third quarter.

      The Falcons' 21 first-quarter points tied for most in the first quarter in team history. It was the fifth time the Falcons have scored 21 points in the first quarter. The last time was Jan. 1, 2012, against the Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome.

      The game also marked the 21st time that Ryan has thrown three touchdowns. He is 20-1 when that happens. The Falcons also improved to 36-2 when he has a passer rating of 100 or higher.

      "Our objective as an offense is to try and score every time we touch the ball," Ryan said. "We did a pretty good job of putting up some points. Special teams added to it and the defense added to it.

      "Defense had a turnover, interception for a touchdown but also a fumble recovery that puts us on the 1-yard line. Field position like that is pretty good."

      Ryan made another case for himself to be considered with the elite quarterbacks in the league.

      Since 2012, Ryan has thrown 65 touchdown passes, which ranks third in the NFL during that span. Ryan trails Peyton Manning (98) and Drew Brees (85). He has thrown 160 career touchdown passes and ranks 12th among active players and sixth since 2008.

      The team is getting more out of Devin Hester than most people expected. He broke the touchdowns return record of Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders.

      Hester has returned 14 punts, five kickoffs and one blocked field goal attempt for touchdowns. His 14 punt returns are also an NFL record.

      Wide receiver Julio Jones caught nine passes for 161 yards with two touchdowns -- the sixth multi-touchdown game of his career, and his yards receiving were the second highest total of his career in the regular season. Jones posted 182 yards against the St. Louis Rams last season and 182 yards against the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFC Championship Game.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Browns' Gordon has suspension reduced
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon's season-long suspension was reduced to 10 games on the heels of the NFL and NFLPA approving a new substance-abuse policy Friday.

    • Gordon will be eligible to return against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 23 provided he meets the terms of the new policy.

      He also will be allowed to return to the Browns' facility to condition and take part in meetings. He is not allowed to practice until the week before the Atlanta game.

      "I'm happy that the NFLPA and NFL worked hard to agree on a new Substances of Abuse policy,'' Gordon said in a statement released by the NFLPA. "I'm very thankful to my union for fighting for a significant reduction in my suspension. I'm glad I can go to the facility during my suspension. I look forward to going to meetings, working out individually, and learning from my coaches and teammates. I can't wait until game 11 to get back on the field!"

      The Cleveland Plain Dealer also reported the league is not expected to add any punishment for a recent DWI conviction.

      If Gordon fails another test, he could be suspended indefinitely.

      Gordon, who was suspended two games in 2013, led the NFL with 1,646 yards and became the first player in NFL history with back-to-back 200-yard receiving games.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Giants' Beason to miss Sunday's game
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Giants ruled middle linebacker Jon Beason out of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans with a toe/foot injury.

    • Coach Tom Coughlin said Friday after practice that Beason went to North Carolina to visit foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson.

      There was hope that Beason might be recovered enough to play Sunday. He had shed a protective boot on Thursday, but the team medical staff determined that it would be best for him to sit out at least this week.

      "Our medical people after listening to the conversation just figured this wouldn't be a week to put him out there," Coughlin said. "You probably have to fight through something like this for the duration, let's put it that way."

      There is no projected date for Beason's return, Coughlin said. The toe and foot injury, which sidelined Beason for 12 weeks durng the summer, flared up during last Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

      Coughlin said Beason heard a pop when another player stepped on the foot in the third quarter.

      "Timetable -- I don't know, I haven't had any conversations with him," Coughlin said. "Here's a guy that's tough and gritty and he'll go out there as soon as he can."

      It appears that the Giants might move Jameel McClain to the middle. He played there during draining camp while the 29-year-old Beason was out.

      With linebacker Devon Kennard also out Sunday because of a hamstring issue, Mark Herzlich or Spencer Paysinger might take over the outside spot. But Herzlich came in to replace Beason in the middle last week.

      "We have a couple of options," Coughlin said.

      McClain is ready to play wherever he's needed.

      "Once again, like I say every week, I expect to play linebacker, wherever they tell me to play that week is what I do. Wherever I be is wherever the coaches see fit," McClain said. "Nothing is a big transition in this game, especially the way that I played it. You prepare the same way that you prepare every week -- the same way that I've always prepared. I always study all the positions. It's not really a big shift for me."

      Before the visit to Anderson, Beason was optimistic about his chances of playing Sunday.

      "Based on how it feels, the fact that I can walk on it," he said Thursday. "When I first did it (in June), I couldn't walk. Sunday night, I felt like I could walk on it. And then Monday it felt a little better and then Tuesday it felt drastically better, which is good.

      "I feel like I could go out there and take care of business. I'm active in the meetings and I know the game plan. I'm still studying it and preparing as though I'm going to play on Sunday."

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    P&G responds to domestic violence problem, cancels promotion
    By The Sports Xchange

    Fallout from the NFL's off-field domestic violence issue has prompted Procter & Gamble to withdraw from taking part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, according to multiple reports.

    • CBSSports.com reported that P&G's Crest brand had been working on the campaign, which involved all the teams and "player-ambassadors." Players would have worn pink mouthguards and engaged in social media on a variety of platforms.

      The company notified the players that money earmarked to be donated to cancer charities as part of the campaign would still be contributed, but the entire campaign has been pulled.

      Proctor & Gamble released a statement saying, "Domestic violence is completely unacceptable and we have strongly urged the NFL to take swift and decisive action to address this issue. ... Our decision to cancel this on field activity was related to this ongoing issue."

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Cowboys WR Bryant questionable; Rams QB Hill, too
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Dallas Cowboys might not know until Sunday if quarterback Tony Romo will have his most dangerous downfield target against the St. Louis Rams after wide receiver Dez Bryant was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.

    • Bryant took part in limited practice for the second consecutive day, but is confident he will be on the field come game day.

      "I'll be ready to roll on Sunday," he told the team's website. "Nothing is going to keep me out."

      Romo, who sat out Wednesday's practice with a stiff back, is listed as probable and will play.

      The question for the Rams is who will be throwing the ball to anybody? Shaun Hill was listed as questionable after taking part in limited practice for a third consecutive day, but his thigh injury is expected to lead to Austin Davis starting for the second consecutive week.

      Whoever is under center may be without wide receiver Tavon Austin, who is also listed as questionable with a knee injury, as is tight end Cory Harkey.

      The Rams' ground game could receive a break if Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain is out with a groin injury that has him listed as doubtful. McClain has been showing signs of a resurgent year after being picked up off the free agent scrap heap and inserted into injured start Sean Lee's spot.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Week 3 preview: Chargers at Bills
    By The Sports Xchange

    San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)

    • Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y. - TV: CBS

      *TV announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein

      *Keys to the game: QB Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates are playing like it's 2009, but the one element of the Chargers' offense that is missing is a LaDainian Tomlinson-like presence in the backfield. Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown are capable of filling niches, but neither is the three-down threat Ryan Mathews (knee; out) can be. San Diego leans instead on a controlled passing game with possession routes between the hashes, where Buffalo's thinned linebacker corps will be a target.

      The Bills don't mind a ball control tug-of-war, using their heavy machinery on the offensive line to wear down San Diego's defense with RBs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson each averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Rookie Sammy Watkins is bringing a big-play receiver to the mix. Watkins has size and natural hands and his matchup with veteran Brandon Flowers, who is expected to start after missing last week's game due to a groin injury. The Chargers' pass rush takes a serious hit with OLB Melvin Ingram out with a hamstring injury.

      *Matchup to watch – Bills DT Marcell Dareus vs. Chargers C Rich Ohrnberger: San Diego lost Pro Bowl C Nick Hardwick for the season in the opener, and Ohrnberger had to step in against the Seahawks. He graded out pretty well, but the Chargers didn't get much done in the running game. The Bills have Dareus and Kyle Williams in the middle of their line, and they will present a big challenge against the run and pass.

      *Player spotlight – Bills LB Preston Brown: The rookie was drafted to be a backup, but suddenly has played every defensive snap in the games against Chicago and Miami, and he leads the Bills with 20 tackles to go along with a fumble recovery and return of 30 yards. Coach Doug Marrone said he "made a big jump" between weeks 1 and 2.

      *Fast facts: The Bills have trailed for a total of 283 seconds this season. ... Gates needs 21 touchdown receptions to tie Tony Gonzalez for most by a tight end in NFL history.

      WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

      Buffalo is getting great play up front and at cornerback. If the Bills continue to avoid self-inflicted wounds, they get to 3-0 for the first time since 2008 (4-0).

      *Our pick: Bills 24-17

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Week 3 preview: Texans at Giants
    By The Sports Xchange

    Houston Texans (2-0) at New York Giants (0-2)

    • Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. - TV: CBS

      *TV announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell

      *Keys to the game: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eli Manning have far different NFL resumes, the former a 10-year journeyman while the latter is a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Still, they entered the season with near equal reputations for turning the ball over frequently.

      Fitzpatrick has avoided turnovers during the Texans' 2-0 start for three reasons: his offensive line that rarely allows him to be touched, RB Arian Foster leads the NFL with 55 carries and head coach Bill O'Brien emphasizes high-percentage passes between the numbers or short routes to the flat. The formula will not change unless the Giants can build a lead and force the Texans to change their approach.

      That's a difficult task with Manning throwing four interceptions through two games. His struggles begin with poor offensive line play and the league's 29th-ranked ground game. Manning is too often backed into the long passing downs in which he is prone to forcing the ball into coverage -- and to a receiving corps minus recognizable names outside of Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle.

      *Matchup to watch - Texans RB Arian Foster vs. Giants LB Jameel McClain: McClain is likely to slide from the strong side to the middle with Jon Beason (foot) sidelined. Mark Herzlich is another option, and whoever is in the middle faces the tall order of containing Foster between the tackles.

      *Player spotlight - Giants WR Preston Parker: The former Florida State star will get the first opportunity at replacing No. 3 receiver Jerrel Jernigan (IR/foot). To put the Giants' lack of depth in perspective, Parker was out of the NFL last season and has one catch for 29 yards this season. Rookie Corey Washington will also see increased snaps with 2014 first-rounder Odell Beckham (hamstring) out again.

      *Fast facts: The Texans are 0-2 for the fifth consecutive season, although they lost their final 14 games in 2013. ... The Giants are averaging 2.7 yards per carry and have a minus-6 turnover ratio.

      WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

      The Texans' schedule is shaping up very well for a strong run through the first half of the season. By that time we still may not have a true gauge on this team, but we do know Houston has the defense to continue Eli Manning's woes and create short fields for Ryan Fitzpatrick to navigate.

      *Our pick: Texans 23-20

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Redskins WR Jackson game-day decision vs. Eagles
    By The Sports Xchange

    Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson was officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game at the Philadelphia Eagles and is expected to be a game-day decision. Jackson suffered a sprained shoulder in Week 2, and returned to limited practice for the first time Friday.

    • "He was very limited," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson's work Friday. "But I think it was a step in the positive direction. (We will) get another look at him (Saturday) with the trainers and then we'll gauge him on Sunday morning and see where he's at. I think he's taking steps in a positive direction."

      Kicker Kai Forbath (right groin) and center Kory Lichtensteiger (foot) were also listed as questionable despite taking part in all of Friday's session. Gruden said Forbath "felt pretty good" Friday, but acknowledged punter Tress Way may handle kickoff duties Sunday.

      Quarterback Robert Griffin III (ankle) and tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) were officially listed as out for Sunday's game, as expected, although Gruden said he had been "hoping for a miracle" with Reed. Also out are linebacker Akeem Jordan (knee) and cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring). Defensive end Kedric Gholston is doubtful with a groin injury.

      The biggest injury news for the Eagles is linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who was officially ruled out due to a calf injury and may be replaced in the starting lineup by Casey Matthews, who has not started a game since his rookie season in 2011. Both Matthews and Emmanuel Acho took first-team reps this week.

      Wide receiver Josh Huff (shoulder) is doubtful to play, while offensive tackle Matt Tobin (ankle) and safety Earl Wolff (knee) are questionable.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Week 3 preview: Chiefs at Dolphins
    By The Sports Xchange

    Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at Miami Dolphins (1-1)

    • Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Sun Life Stadium, Miami - TV: CBS

      *TV announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

      *Keys to the game: The Chiefs are confident in backup RB Knile Davis' ability to handle the full workload, but Jamaal Charles (ankle) did return to practice Friday and may see limited action. Whoever is in the backfield is key to the offense's goal of maintaining the ball control approach that kept last week’s game against Denver within reach. QB Alex Smith doesn't push the ball downfield often but if he receives protection then chunk yards should be there – Buffalo had five plays of 20-plus yards against Miami last week and has experienced some issues in the back end.

      The pressure is on Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill to step up with RB Knowshon Moreno out and backfield mate Lamar Miller potentially at less than 100 percent. Tannehill is completing only 60.5 percent of his passes and although coach Joe Philbin said the inconsistency of the passing game is a unit-wide issue, Tannehill's accuracy has faltered even on many completions, limiting yards after the catch. If the Chiefs are able to negate Miller and rookie Damien Williams, Tannehill's questionable pass protection will be put to the test.

      *Matchup to watch – Chiefs S Ron Parker vs. Dolphins S Michael Thomas: Parker, a former cornerback, is expected to start in place of injured Eric Berry (ankle) over safeties Kurt Coleman and Kelcie McCray. Thomas got the start last week ahead of veteran Louis Delmas. Which youngster can best hold up the back end of his team's defense?

      *Player spotlight – Chiefs RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas: The rookie is set to make his regular-season debut after missing two games with a hamstring pull, and the former Oregon Duck star could provide a much-needed dynamic element to the offense.

      *Fast facts: The Chiefs are 0-2 for the eighth time in the past 11 years. In 15 previous seasons with 0-2 starts, Kansas City has finished with a winning record only one time (2006). ... Dolphins WR Mike Wallace leads all AFC wide receivers with 39 touchdown catches since entering the league in 2009.

      WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

      With both quarterbacks struggling to move the ball consistently through the air, this quickly becomes a battle of backup running backs. While the Dolphins’ Lamar Miller has added some bulk, Davis has better shown the ability to step in and handle the load as a feature back.

      *Our pick: Chiefs 20-17

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Chiefs RB Charles returns to practice
    By The Sports Xchange

    Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles returned to limited practice Friday, just five days after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Denver Broncos.

    • The Chiefs are waiting to see how his ankle responds to the work before determining his status for Sunday's game at the Miami Dolphins.

      "He did practice and he moved around and did a decent job," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "So, we'll see how it all works out.

      "I'm just going to evaluate, just see how he feels and let the docs make a decision and let the trainers make a decision from there. We appreciate his effort he came in and he's pushed through this thing. We'll make the decision after that."

      Depending on Charles' status Sunday, Knile Davis will either start in his place or is expected to at least share the backfield reps.

      --Safety Eric Berry (ankle) and running back De'Anthony Thomas have been listed as out against Miami.

      Former cornerback Ron Parker is expected to start in Berry's place after practicing with the first team all week.

      "He's kind of done a little bit even back in OTAs," Reid said. "He's been in a dime type package the whole time so he's had the experience back there from that. But actually in there, this would be the first week he's done that, the whole thing."

      Reid said the move to sit Thomas for a third consecutive week was precautionary.

      "He's already waited here a couple of weeks," said Reid. "You don't want to take any setbacks. That's just a judgment call. You go off of how the player feels and what you see and your experience with him."

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Chargers LB Ingram ruled out
    By The Sports Xchange

    San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram has been ruled out of Sunday's game at Buffalo.

    • Ingram has been dealing with hamstring issues, sitting out this week's practices. He was instrumental in the Chargers' 30-21 win over the Seattle Seahawks last week. He had five tackles and one sack.

      Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen provided some encouragement with his participation during Friday practice. He was listed as questionable on the injury report.

      Allen has been dealing with a groin injury. He has just 10 catches for 92 yards in the first two games.

      Linebacker Jerry Attaochu (hamstring) didn't practice Friday and hasn't all week. He was listed as questionable. Center Rich Ohrnberger (back) should start Sunday.

      Running back Ryan Mathews was officially ruled out. Mathews has a sprained MCL in his right knee and could miss four to five weeks.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Week 3 preview: Redskins at Eagles
    By The Sports Xchange

    Washington Redskins (1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

    • Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia - TV: FOX

      *TV announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews

      *Keys to the game: There is no four-corners type of stall tactic coming from the Redskins, but seeing a pair of second-half comebacks already from the Eagles, who swept the 2013 games with Washington, ball control is vital for QB Kirk Cousins and Company. It would help Washington's cause if WR DeSean Jackson recovers from a sprained shoulder and can run deep routes against his former teammates. The Redskins have struggled with pass protection, allowing 6.0 sacks in 79 dropbacks, but RB Alfred Morris is third in the NFL this season with 176 rushing yards.

      The Eagles' offense isn't exactly flying. Still, the dynamic backfield combination of Darren Sproles as LeSean McCoy's wing man has livened up coach Chip Kelly's scheme while QB Nick Foles' outside receivers work their way back from a largely idle training camp. Washington had 10 sacks last week, but barring a similar effort against one of the NFL's most effective front fives, the Redskins will need a more conservative plan to contend with the speed and etch-a-sketch route combos coming this week.

      *Matchup to watch – Eagles C Jason Kelce vs. Redskins ILB Perry Riley: Ready-set comes more rapidly in Philadelphia, where they're running a play every 22.2 seconds. Riley is charged with getting his unit set and aligned twice as fast as usual.

      *Player spotlight – Eagles LB Casey Matthews: He might get his first start since his rookie season in 2011 with Mychal Kendricks out due to a calf injury. Both Matthews and Emmanuel Acho took first-team reps this week. The Redskins like to involve their tight ends, and backup Niles Paul has 14 receptions this season.

      *Fast facts: The Eagles have outscored their first two opponents 58-10 in the second half. ... Of Foles' 48 completions, 31 are to tight ends and running backs.

      WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

      Kirk Cousins can keep the Redskins in games and with Alfred Morris running well, the burden goes to Washington's defense to stifle Philadelphia's Swiss-army knife offense with shaky secondary personnel.

      *Our pick: Eagles 33-23

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Goodell promises changes to NFL Conduct Policy
    By The Sports Xchange

    For the first time in more than a week, commissioner Roger Goodell addressed domestic violence issues and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy during a Friday news conference in New York.

    • With his integrity in question, and possibly his job as commissioner on the line, Goodell said "he got it wrong" when it came to the recent Ray Rice incident. He promised he "will get it right" going forward.

      "We have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong," Goodell said. "That starts with me."

      Goodell, who made his first public comments since Sept. 10, vowed there will be positive changes and "everything is on the table." He specifically mentioned changes to the NFL Conduct Policy, but first, the commissioner's office has to take care of its house.

      "We will get it right. It won't be easy, but we will get it right," he said.

      Goodell wants to create a personal conduct committee to oversee the type of conduct that is expected from everyone in the league. The committee will help decide "how we represent ourselves and how can we hold ourselves to that standard."

      Goodell stressed the league has the opportunity to create change across all levels of society.

      "There will be changes to the personal conduct policy. I know this ... nothing is off the table. We will implement new -- clear and transparent -- conduct polices for owners and players," Goodell said, adding he hopes to have these changes implemented by the Super Bowl.

      Goodell said he understands the criticism heaped on him and that he had not considered stepping down.

      The commissioner said he already has contacted the NFL Players Union chief DeMaurice Smith about the potential changes. The two men plan to meet with outside experts, who can help set guidelines and procedures.That process will begin next week, he said.

      Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Greg Hardy, San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald and running back Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals all have been accused in domestic violence incidents. Peterson has been indicted on a charge of felony child abuse. McDonald was arrested but has not been charged on suspicion of domestic violence.

      Goodell did reiterate that no one in his office saw video of Rice punching his fiance in an elevator before TMZ released it.

      Goodell, who had suspended Rice for two games prior to seeing the TMZ video, indefinitely suspended Rice after seeing the TMZ video. Rice was released by the Ravens later that day.

      "I got it wrong with the handling of the Ray Rice matter and I am sorry for that. I got it wrong on a number of levels from the process that I led to the decision that I reached. I don't expect anyone just to take my word," Goodell admitted.

      Some of the league's sponsors have weighed in on the recent spate of problems. Radisson canceled its sponsorship with the Vikings. Anheuser-Busch, which has a six-year, $1.2 billion deal with the NFL and other league's other big corporate partners have expressed concerns.

      "We will re-examine, enhance and improve all of our current programs and then we'll do more," Goodell said.

      The NFL previously announced that it would toughen its penalties for players involved in domestic violence cases, to a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban reviewable after one year for a repeat offense.

      On Thursday, Goodell sent a letter to team owners that all NFL personnel will undergo domestic violence awareness training.

      The letter stated that personnel and staff will be required to undergo training on the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault starting within 30 days.

      "These initial sessions will begin to provide the men and women of the NFL with information and tools to understand and recognize domestic violence and sexual assault," Goodell's letter sent on Thursday stated. "We will work with the NFL Players Association to develop and present this training in the most effective way."

      Goodell also announced Thursday night that the NFL has teamed up with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to provide "much-needed resources" to the organization in order to help women who have been abused.

      A hotline spokesperson told ESPN.com that the commitment was a "multiyear, multimillion dollar deal."

      The organization said that just days after the release of a video showing Rice punching and knocking out his then-fiance and now-wife, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City hotel casino elevator in February, the Hotline's call volume increased by 84 percent.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Week 3 preview: Titans at Bengals
    By The Sports Xchange

    Tennessee Titans (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-0)

    • Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati - TV: CBS

      *TV announcers: Brad Johansen, Chris Simms

      *Keys to the game: RB Giovani Bernard leads the Bengals with 11 catches and 141 receiving yards and he's getting more help with the grunt work from rookie Jeremy Hill, a between-the-tackles runner with light feet averaging 4.9 yards per carry. The Titans have no great answer for either, and fresh off a tenderizing from Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray, Tennessee will get a heavy dose of both backs. The Bengals could also receive a boost with the return of WR A.J. Green, who returned to practice late in the week and said he expects to be ready after playing just five snaps last week before leaving with a toe injury. Paired with Mohamed Sanu, QB Andy Dalton has his field-stretching to open more running lanes.

      QB Jake Locker had a disastrous first half against Dallas -- 4 of 12 passing, 26 yards, interception – and needs play-action to work to be effective against Cincinnati's solid bump coverage scheme. A deep rotation of backs is getting the job done, but Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster aren't making splash plays to get defenders on their heels.

      *Matchup to watch – Titans RB Shonn Greene vs. Bengals MLB Vinny Rey: Rey likely will be filling in for concussed Pro Bowler Vontaze Burfict and Greene has had success in this matchup with 267 yards (5.1-yard average) in three career games against Cincinnati.

      *Player spotlight – Titans TE Delanie Walker: With 13 receptions and two touchdowns, Walker is enjoying coach Ken Whisenhunt's offense and the Bengals tend to give up more yards between the hashes to possession targets.

      *Fast facts: Cincinnati surrendered a total of three first-half points in its first two games. ... Locker has won three of his past four starts on the road.

      WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

      The Bengals get to the quarterback and give Locker only tight windows downfield to outside receivers. Barring a major breakout from the Titans' ground game, Cincinnati strolls with or without Green.

      *Our pick: Bengals 25-14

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Colts LB Freeman, DE Jones ruled out
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Indianapolis Colts ruled out linebacker Jerrell Freeman and defensive end Arthur Jones for Sunday's game at Jacksonville.

    • Head coach Chuck Pagano confirmed on Friday that the two starters won't be available against the Jaguars.

      Freeman has been nursing a hamstring injury that also forced him to miss Monday night's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

      Jones will be sidelined two to four weeks while recovering from a high-ankle sprain suffered in the Eagles game.

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Bengals WR Green plans to play Sunday
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, who has been dealing with a toe ailment, proclaimed himself ready for Sunday's game against the visiting Tennessee Titans.

    • Green was limited in Thursday's practice, but indicated he would be full-go Friday. He ended up taking only five plays in the victory over Atlanta last Sunday. He had six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening win in Baltimore.

      "It was good, it wasn't sore," Green said of how it reacted to Thursday's workout. "I think I will (play) Sunday."

      Green on Friday morning said he has "no soreness."

  • Friday, September 19, 2014
    Cardinals place LB Abraham on IR
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Arizona Cardinals placed linebacker John Abraham on season-ending injured reserve Friday due to ongoing concussion issues.

    • Abraham left the team last week after suffering from memory loss due to concussions, but returned to the team Monday. Unfortunately, he was never able to get through the concussion protocol.

      By coming back and being put on IR, Abraham still receives his $3 million salary.

      On Tuesday night, coach Bruce Arians said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that Abraham had not been cleared to return from a concussion suffered in Week 1.

      During his Monday news conference, Arians said the NFL's active sacks leader went to a neurologist to begin the final stages of the concussion protocol.

      "He's more than ready," Arians said Monday. "We just go to get him to pass the concussion protocol. He did not pass today. We'll have to wait and see when we can do it again. Hopefully we'll have him for this week. But he's excited.

      "When you get that first concussion, and he had a big one, I think it shakes you up sometimes and he thought real hard about it and he's talked to a bunch of different folks, me included, and stepped back and I think the rest and just sitting back this weekend, staying home, he missed it a lot. He's more than ready to roll for down the stretch."

      According to ESPN, Abraham suffered his first reported concussion during the third quarter of Arizona's win over San Diego on Monday Night Football in Week 1. A day later, Arians and Abraham discussed Abraham's future with the five-time Pro Bowler telling his coach he "wasn't in it" and he took a five-day leave of absence.

      Abraham, 36, is suffering from severe memory loss and has been for well more than a year, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter last week.

      "We mentioned the concussion but it was nothing as much as not being accountable to his teammates and having the full desire to play," Arians said. "I did not see the evidence of that. In his play, I thought he played his tail off."

      Abraham entered the season No. 9 on the all-time sacks list with 133.5. He was chosen with the 13th pick of the 2000 draft by the New York Jets.

      Abraham's spot on the roster was filled when the Cardinals re-signed punter Drew Butler. Butler was necessary after punter Dave Zastudil suffered a setback with his groin injury in practice.