NFL: Week 1

League scrutinizes behavior

Jets probed over reporter’s claims

Associated Press / September 14, 2010

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After a summer in the spotlight, the Jets are under scrutiny again.

The “Hard Knocks’’ stars are being investigated by the NFL for the way Jets players and coaches carried on when they were visited by a female reporter from a Mexican TV network during the team’s practice Saturday.

Ines Sainz, of Mexico’s TV Azteca, said on her Twitter account Saturday that she felt “very uncomfortable!’’ in the Jets’ locker room, where a few players let loose with some “Whooo-weee!’’ catcalls as she waited with two male co-workers to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is of Mexican descent.

“Of course you feel it when you are being stared at and when you are being spoken of in a certain way,’’ Sainz told the AP. “I opted to ignore it. I tried to not even pay attention.’’

She tweeted in Spanish Saturday night that she tried “not to look anywhere!!’’

“It was an uncomfortable moment because you are in the team’s dressing room and they are obviously changing clothes, showering — doing what they do every day in the locker room,’’ Sainz said. “So being a woman, obviously it was a bit uncomfortable.’’

Sainz also thanked supporters yesterday on Twitter for their concern.

“I already spoke to the NFL and it will be up to them to decide whether or not there will be consequences!!’’ she tweeted.

Sainz was at the New Meadowlands Stadium last night and had a seat in the press box for New York’s season-opening loss to Baltimore.

During defensive back drills Saturday, Jets assistant coach Dennis Thurman seemed to deliberately throw to players near where Sainz was standing on the sideline. Even linebacker Jason Taylor, who normally doesn’t participate in those position drills, went out for a pass.

At the end of the drill, head coach Rex Ryan threw a pass to Thurman, who caught it, ran toward Sainz and appeared to speak to her very briefly.

The Association for Women in Sports Media said a board member spoke to Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum Sunday about the reports. Also, owner Woody Johnson spoke to Sainz, telling her “he expects all members of the Jets organization to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times,’’ Jets spokesman Bruce Speight said.

Sainz said she talked Sunday with NFL officials.

Concussion worries
Dr. Hunt Batjer, the co-chairman of the NFL’s Brain, Head, and Neck Medical Committee doesn’t see four concussions sustained by players in the first weekend of the regular season as a trend. But Batjer said the rate of concussions is something the league and its medical staff will closely monitor throughout the season. Batjer noted that “if this pace continues, it’s either better reporting of the symptoms, or it is something else systemic.’’ Regardless, he added, “we must keep a close eye on this and we will.’’ . . . The Eagles, however, allowed two of their players, quarterback Kevin Kolb and linebacker Stewart Bradley, to return for a few plays after sustaining concussions. “We stuck to the criteria there, and then followed up on it,’’ coach Andy Reid said yesterday. “We didn’t just stick [them] out there without having followed the protocol. We also made sure that we stayed on top of it when they came back off the field and we made the decision when symptoms were there. I have full trust in the trainers and the doctors and the procedure they admit through.’’ The NFL Players Association and Batjer were satisfied the Eagles followed proper procedure.

No surgery for Stafford
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said quarterback Matthew Stafford’s injured right shoulder won’t need surgery but there’s no timetable on Stafford’s return. The second-year quarterback was knocked out of the season opener when Chicago’s Julius Peppers sacked him Sunday. The coach said Stafford was very sore yesterday, but got good returns from tests . . . Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny will miss about three weeks after he hurt his right knee in a season-opening loss to Miami. Coach Chan Gailey didn’t disclose any details of the injury, except to say tests revealed it wasn’t as severe as first feared . . . Rams linebacker Chris Chamberlain will be sidelined 6-8 weeks with turf toe on his left foot, an injury that left him wearing a cast . . . The Eagles placed Pro Bowl fullback Leonard Weaver (torn right ACL) and starting center Jamaal Jackson (torn right triceps) on injured reserve, ending their seasons. The team signed fullback Owen Schmitt and tight end/fullback Garrett Mills to fill the roster spots . . . Packers defensive lineman Justin Harrell sustained a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in Sunday’s victory at Philadelphia, the latest in a long line of significant injuries for the team’s first-round pick in the 2007 draft. Harrell has played in only 13 regular-season games in his first three years, missing much of 2008 and all of last season with back problems. The Packers also will be without running back Ryan Grant for at least a week after he sustained what McCarthy called a “significant’’ ankle injury that involved ligament damage . . . Giants tight end Kevin Boss sustained his third concussion since late in 2008 season in the opener against Carolina. His status for Sunday’s game against the Colts is uncertain. The Giants also will be without backup tackle William Beatty, who broke his right foot and will require surgery . . . Brown QB Jake Delhomme, who threw two costly interceptions in Sunday’s loss, hurt his right ankle and will undergo tests this week to determine the severity . . . Vikings receiver Percy Harvin, who was diagnosed with sleep apnea recently, said he now uses a breathing machine while he sleeps and he hasn’t suffered a migraine since Aug. 19. “It’s a 100 percent difference,’’ Harvin said. “I’m not waking up groggy. I’m waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go.’’

Players get support
NFL players have a new teammate in their labor fight — the AFL-CIO. One of the nation’s largest unions said it had sent all of the league’s owners a letter warning that a lockout in one of America’s “few thriving’’ industries could cost thousands of Americans their jobs and cities more than $140 million in revenue. It also urged owners to release financial statements, something NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has sought for more than a year. The AFL-CIO called the owners’ refusal to provide financial documents “troubling.’’ . . . Deion Sanders, Curtis Martin, Marshall Faulk, and Jerome Bettis are among the first-year eligible candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2011. In all, there are 113 modern-era nominees. From that list, Hall of Fame selectors will choose 25 as semifinalists to be announced in November . . . Browns president Mike Holmgren has reached out again to the Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, asking Brown to reconsider not attending Sunday’s ring of honor ceremony at halftime of Cleveland’s home opener against Kansas City. Brown, the greatest player in team history and one of the NFL’s all-time best, is at odds with the Browns over losing his job as a team adviser. He recently informed the Browns he would not take part in the ceremony when the team inducts its 16 Hall of Famers as the initial class in the new ring of honor.

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