NFL notebook

Friend: Taylor's death not random burglary

NEIL RACKERS Kicker apologizes for hit NEIL RACKERS Kicker apologizes for hit
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Associated Press / November 29, 2007

Redskins safety Sean Taylor was shot to death in what police suspect was a random burglary, and there are no indications he was targeted or knew his assailant.

However, a childhood friend, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle, disputes that notion and said Taylor had many enemies on the streets of Miami.

"There's nothing that indicates thus far that there's some kind of involvement on the victim's part," said Robert Parker, director of the Miami-Dade County Police Department, adding it was "more like a random event."

He said evidence at Taylor's home indicates one or more intruders barged into the house early Monday in an attempted burglary. After a confrontation inside the home, Taylor was shot once in the upper leg and died early Tuesday after losing a tremendous amount of blood.

Taylor's family has scheduled a funeral service for 11 a.m. Monday at Pharmed Arena at Florida International University in Miami.

Police have no suspects and have asked the public to come forward with any information.

The player's father, Pedro Taylor, and other members of his family traveled to Ashburn, Va., to meet with his teammates, who are preparing for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

"Many of these guys were wondering, 'How in the world am I going to go out and do this on Sunday?' " said Brett Fuller, the team chaplain. "And when Mr. Taylor stood up and said go out and win these next five and make it to the playoffs, we felt a surge in the room, that he almost gave us permission to play well."

Meanwhile, Rolle said, "This was not the first incident. They've been targeting him for three years now."

Rolle said many former "friends" had it in for Taylor, who was trying to build a more stable life. "He really didn't say too much," Rolle said, "but I know he lived his life pretty much scared every day of his life when he was down in Miami because those people were targeting him. At least, he's got peace now."

Rolle said he hadn't talked to Taylor in a while, and that the Redskin had withdrawn from the crowd he hung around with to build a new life with his girlfriend and young daughter.

"They say it was a burglary. It absolutely was not a burglary," he said. "Sean, he had a large group of friends, and he no longer hung out with those friends, so you never know where this came from."

Their seasons done

Cardinals Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson will undergo season-ending surgery on his injured right heel. Wilson has played with soreness in the heel for some time, but it worsened to the point that he could not put pressure on it. He sat out the last two games before seeing a specialist in Miami this week . . . Running back Chris Perry will miss the rest of the season after the Bengals decided not to activate him off the physically unable to perform list. Perry has been sidelined since he broke his lower right leg last Nov. 26 against Cleveland. He resumed practicing with the team three weeks ago, but hasn't fully recovered . . . A knee injury has ended the season for Detroit Lions cornerback Stanley Wilson. The team placed Wilson, who hurt his knee in a Thanksgiving loss to the Packers, on injured reserve.

Jets sign UNH's Ball

The New York Jets signed wide receiver David Ball after releasing cornerback Manny Collins from the practice squad. Ball, a rookie out of New Hampshire, broke Jerry Rice's Division 1-AA record for touchdown receptions with 58. Ball had been on Chicago's practice squad before being released in September . . . Arizona kicker Neil Rackers has apologized for striking an NFL Films video camera with his helmet as he left the field following the Cardinals' 37-31 overtime loss to San Francisco last Sunday. Rackers had just missed what would have been a winning 32-yard field goal. "I was obviously very frustrated after the game, but that's no excuse for acting like I did," Rackers said in a statement. "I've reached out to the gentleman involved to apologize personally, and I also want to apologize to the Cardinals organization and fans." . . . Wide receiver Cris Carter and cornerback Darrell Green were the only first-year eligible players among 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2008. Former Patriot Andre Tippett is among the semifinalists . . . The NFL said a judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by former 49ers receiver Antonio Bryant over drug testing, saying the matter should be resolved under grievance procedures set out in the league's collective bargaining agreement. Bryant filed last month in US District Court seeking to stop the NFL from requiring him to submit to drug testing.

Question marks

Starting defensive end Chris Kelsay was one of 11 Buffalo Bills to miss practice. Kelsay, who is still wearing a protective boot, is likely out for Buffalo's game at Washington Sunday because of a sprained left ankle. Rookie running back Marshawn Lynch is also expected to miss his third straight game because of a sprained left ankle, while veteran backup Anthony Thomas's status is uncertain after he hurt his calf last weekend . . . Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said his ankle and thumb have improved and he is closer to getting back on the field . . . Seattle's Shaun Alexander was back practicing for the first time since he sprained his ankle 3 1/2 weeks ago . . . Rams quarterback Marc Bulger was held out of practice, three days after sustaining a concussion, and his availability remained in doubt for this week's game . . . Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth made it through most of practice for the first time since hurting his right hamstring Nov. 4 . . . With Ricky Williams out for the season, Miami Dolphins running back Jesse Chatman figures he'll have to play hurt. Hampered by ankle and neck injuries, Chatman practiced and is expected to start Sunday against the New York Jets . . . Kansas City quarterback Brodie Croyle missed practice with a sore back, and his availability for this week's game against San Diego could be in question. Croyle, making his second start, was kicked in the back early in the Chiefs' 20-17 loss to Oakland Sunday . . . Minnesota Vikings safety Tank Williams missed practice with a knee injury and defensive end Kenechi Udeze was gone for personal reasons . . . Saints defensive tackle Brian Young, who missed four games with a knee injury, practiced and is expected to return for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

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