Union backs accused referee
The NFL Referees Assn. is questioning why the league isn’t focusing more attention on Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes for threatening umpire Roy Ellison following Buffalo’s game at Miami.
Ellison has been placed on administrative leave while the NFL investigates Hughes’ accusation that Ellison called him a vulgar name during the game.
In a statement released Wednesday, NFLRA executive director Scott Green says the association expects the NFL’s investigation to clear Ellison while turning the focus on Hughes.
Green says Hughes has a history of being flagged for personal misconduct and arguing with officials.
“While we are disappointed that the NFL has yet to address that aspect of the incident, we look forward to working with the league during its review, and will ensure that Roy’s rights are protected during this process,” Green said.
Philbin to assume play-calling duties
Interim coach Joe Philbin is assuming playcalling duties for the Green Bay Packers. It’s a job he hasn’t had in 20 years since he was a college assistant coach.
Philbin took over after Mike McCarthy was fired this week. Philbin is the offensive coordinator and heavily involved in offensive planning and scripting plays.
New York Jets’ Sam Darnold was a full participant at practice, putting him on track to start for the New York Jets at Buffalo against the Bills on Sunday. The rookie quarterback has missed the last three games with a strained right foot. Coach Todd Bowles said that it was too early in the week to say for sure if Darnold will start . ... Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton insisted he’ll be ready to play quarterback this week against the Cleveland Browns despite lingering soreness in his throwing shoulder. His coach Ron Rivera wasn’t as certain. More than 20 months after having surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff, Newton is still experiencing discomfort . ... NFL interception leader Xavien Howard is nursing a knee injury, leaving his availability uncertain for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday against New England
The Washington Redskins placed cornerback Quinton Dunbar, receiver Trey Quinn and guard Jonathan Cooper on injured reserve. Also added to the IR: New York Giants safety Landon Collins (partially torn labrum); Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (ruptured plantar fascia); Detroit Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (neck injury); Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (left Achilles’ tendon tear); and Arizona Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee injury). Signings: Giants wide receiver Mose Frazier; Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson, center Demetrius Rhaney, guard Zac Kerin and defensive end Marcus Smith; the Lions promoted defensive end Eric Lee from the practice squad; and the Broncos claimed receiver Andre Holmes off waivers from Buffalo.