ea s onor s ootin icti s

lay­ers and oa hes o er tri utes to those in ri­day’s tra edy.

Austin American-Statesman - - NFL - A

The New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots si­lenced their “End Zone Mili­tia” on Sun­day night, paying trib­ute to the vic­tims of the Con­necti­cut school shoot­ing by can­cel­ing the tra­di­tional scor­ing cel­e­bra­tion in which men dressed as Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War sol­diers fire mus­kets into the air.

Two days af­ter 20 chil­dren and six adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Conn., the Pa­tri­ots joined the other 13 home teams across the NFL that hon­ored the vic­tims’ me­mory by ask­ing for a moment of si­lence and dark­en­ing their score­boards.

The U.S. flag was at half- staff at Gil­lette Sta­dium, and 26 flares were fired into the air in a pregame cer­e­mony be­fore the game against the San Fran­cisco 49ers.

New York Giants re­ceiver Vic­tor Cruz, af­ter learn­ing that he was the fa­vorite player of one 6-year-old vic­tim, wrote “R.I.P. Jack Pinto,” “Jack Pinto, my hero” and “This one is for you” on his shoes for the Giants game against the Fal­cons in At­lanta. Cruz said he called the boy’s fam­ily af­ter hear­ing he was a Giants fan and was told they planned to bury him in one of Cruz’s No. 80 jer­seys.

“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” Cruz said. “There are no words that can de­scribe the type of feel­ing that you get when a kid idol­izes you so much that un­for­tu­nately they want to put him in the cas­ket with your jersey on. I can’t even ex­plain it.”

The Pa­tri­ots, the clos­est team to New­town that was home on Sun­day, wore a hel­met sticker with the city seal and a black rib­bon on it. The Giants, an­other pop­u­lar team in south­west­ern Con­necti­cut, af­fixed a de­cal with the school’s ini­tials — “SHES” — on their hel­mets. Hous­ton Tex­ans de­fen­sive end J.J. Watt wrote “New­town, CT” on one of the gloves he wore in warmups and on both of his shoes for the game.

“We’re play­ing foot­ball, and there’s some­thing much big­ger go­ing on in this world,” Watt said. “I just wanted them to know, and I wanted ev­ery­one to know, that our thoughts are with them. Noth­ing is big­ger than that. We played our game to­day, but hon­estly our thoughts are with them, the fam­i­lies, the teach­ers, the friends, the first re­spon­ders, who had to go see that.”

In St. Louis, the play­ers who wear No. 26 — Rams run­ning back Daryl Richard­son and Vik­ings cor­ner­back An­toine Win­field — joined hands in a cir­cle with their coaches at mid­field be­fore their game, sur­rounded by dozens of chil­dren wear­ing jer­seys.

Charg­ers: Run­ning back Ryan Mathews broke his left col­lar­bone in the sec­ond quar­ter of the loss to the Pan­thers. Mathews broke his right col­lar­bone in the ex­hi­bi­tion opener.

Ravens: Wide re­ceiver Tor­rey Smith and run­ning back Bernard Pierce suf­fered con­cus­sions dur­ing the loss to the Broncos.

Vik­ings: De­fen­sive end Brian Ro­bi­son suf­fered a sprained shoul­der in the first quar­ter of the win over the Rams and is sched­uled to have an MRI to­day.

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