Talib suspended one game for eye poke
Cornerback says he didn’t mean for it to happen
The National Football League slapped Aqib Talib with a one-game suspension for poking Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen in his right eye.
If upheld on appeal, Denver’s star cornerback will miss the Broncos’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. He’ll also miss out on a $323,529 paycheck on his $5.5 million base salary.
“I sat with Aqib on the plane coming home last night, had a long talk with him,” coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. “He’s wrong. He needs to stay out of the situation. It hurt the team.”
Talib said afterward he didn’t intend to poke Allen, but was only trying to shove him, insisting: “You think I play football to poke people in the eye? It was an honest mistake.”
Talib was whistled twice in the final 2 minutes, 25 seconds of Denver’s 27-24 loss at Indianapolis. The first was for unnecessary roughness when he poked two fingers into Allen’s face mask after Allen and Von Miller were shouting and shoving following a 2yard run by Frank Gore.
“From my angle I saw him head-butt Von a little bit,” Talib said after the game. “I went over there and tried to poke his head. I think my hand slipped there and hit his face. He acted like he got into an 18-passenger car wreck. I guess that’s what type of guy he is.”
The second infraction came when linebacker Danny Trevathan was whistled for holding on a chip-shot field goal with 28 seconds left, giving Indy a first down and al- lowing the Colts to run out the clock. At that point, Talib tauntingly clapped at an official, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Bailey suspended: St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Coach Jeff Fisher said he was “very, very disappointed in his choices,” and had “numerous conversations” with the player.
Bailey served a two-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs last season.
Shortly after Bailey’s suspension was announced, the Rams signed veteran receiver Wes Welker.
Fisher said it was too early to say whether the 34-year-old Welker would be active this week against Chicago.
Fuel on the fire: Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan is preparing to face his former team for the first time since being fired by the New York Jets, and linebacker IK Enemkpali will serve as one of Buffalo’s captains on Thursday night.
Ryan said he didn’t have any trouble making the designation even though Enemkpali was released by the Jets for a punch that broke quarterback Geno Smith’s j aw in August.
Roethlisberger injures foot: Big Ben is back on the injury list.
Making his second start since returning from a knee injury, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his left foot midway through the fourth quarter of a 38-35 win against Oakland on Sunday.
Roethlisberger was hurt on a sack by Oakland’s Aldon Smith and stayed on the ground for several minutes. Roethlisberger hopped off the field, putting all his weight on his right leg and was helped to the sideline by teammates.
He was taken to the locker room on a cart, and the Steelers announced Roethlisberger eventually left Heinz Field to undergo further evaluation.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger needs an MRI and didn’t have any further update.
Roethlisberger was 24 of 44 for 334 yards with two touchdowns and an interception at the time of the injury. He passed Hall of Famers Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana to move into 13th on the NFL’s career yards passing list earlier in the game.
Roethlisberger missed four games after he sprained his left knee in Week 3. In other injury news:
Oakland running back Latavius Murray left with a concussion in the third quarter against Pittsburgh. Murray was injured on a big hit from Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, lost the ball and linebacker Jarvis Jones recovered the fumble. Murray, who had 17 carries for 96 yards, laid on the turf for several minutes before being helped off the field.
New York Jets kicker Nick Folk strained his right quadriceps during pregame warmups and was replaced on kickoffs and field goals by punter Ryan Quigley, who made all four of his extrapoint attempts.
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy injured his right shoulder in a 33-17 win over Miami. McCoy had 112 yards rushing, including a 48yard TD, before he got hurt.
Pierre-Paul takes the field: The New York Giants were bolstered by the return of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in the game against Tampa Bay.
Pierre-Paul had two tackles and two quarterback hits in his first action since the July Fourth fireworks accident that sidelined him for training camp and eight games.
The sixth-year pro lost his right index finger and suffered other damage to the hand in the accident. He returned to practice two weeks ago and was believed to be on track to return next week against the New England Patriots.
But he progressed enough during workouts that the Gi- ants decided to activate him against the Bucs.
“I just know I’m happy that I’m back out here,” PierrePaul said.
Zebra watching: Ed Hochuli had a rough stretch during the Dallas-Philadelphia game.
The longtime referee with the Popeye biceps twice got the number wrong on a Cowboys penalty. The second time, he gave the number of Orlando Scandrick (32), who is out for the season with a knee injury. The pass interference call was against Barry Church (42) on Zach Ertz.
Hochuli’s first choice was Brandon Carr (39), who had a couple of huge — and legal — hits on Philadelphia receivers in the first quarter.
The crew also got confused by a Dallas penalty for 12 men on the field on a punt return.
After a lengthy discussion, Hochuli said the penalty would be assessed from where the Cowboys caught the punt. They moved the ball back, and then Hochuli had to say the penalty couldn’t be added after the play. So the ball went back to the Dallas 12.
Hochuli later stumbled and fell at the end of a scramble by Matt Cassel.
Photos depict injuries in Hardy case: Only days after Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy had a guilty verdict in his bench trial expunged, photos surfaced of bruises and abrasions suffered by his former girlfriend.
Deadspin published a detailed account of the case last Friday along with a gallery of photos that show the various injuries Nicole Holder suffered to her back, legs, foot, arms, neck and chin that evening in Charlotte, N.C., a year and a half ago.
The NFL had access to these and other photos before issuing its suspension of Hardy in April. Sources said Cowboys officials were not allowed to view the photos, several of which were under a protective order, before Hardy signed with the club March 18.
While the club was not granted access to visual evidence, sources stressed the Cowboys were aware of the photos and had an understanding of what was depicted.
On May 13, 2014, Hardy was arrested when an argument between him and Holder, his girlfriend at the time, escalated and resulted in both parties placing calls to 911. A judge found Hardy guilty of communicating threats and assault two months later and gave him 18 months probation after suspending a 60-day j ail sentence.
Hardy was under contract with the Carolina Panthers at the time. He played one game last season before he was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, meaning he received his $13.1 million salary even though he didn’t play.
Hardy and his attorney appealed under North Carolina law, asking for a jury trial in a superior court. Charges were dismissed earlier this year when the accuser failed to appear and prosecutors were unable to locate her. Prosecutors have indicated that Hardy and Holder reached a civil settlement.
Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled in April that Hardy would serve a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Arbitrator Harold Henderson reduced that punishment to four games in July. Hardy made his Cowboys debut Oct. 11 against New England.
Earlier last week, Hardy had his initial guilty verdict expunged in North Carolina.
Former Viking dies: Fred McNeill, who helped the Vikings reach two Super Bowls in his 12-year NFL career, died of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 63.
Drafted 17th overall in 1974, the former UCLA linebacker played in Minnesota’s Super Bowl losses in 1975 and ’77. In 167 regular-season games, he had 1,068 tackles, 13 sacks and seven interceptions.