NFL notebook

Favre accuser wants finality

She fears QB will retire unpunished

Associated Press / December 8, 2010

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A spokesman for the former Jets game hostess who allegedly received inappropriate phone messages and photos from Brett Favre said yesterday he is concerned the quarterback will be retired before the NFL concludes its investigation.

Jennifer Sterger’s manager, Phil Reese, said his client wants the investigation finished during the season because Favre has said he will retire at the end of this year, at which point he may no longer be susceptible to punishment from the league.

The NFL said it is continuing to work on the case, which first popped up more than two months ago.

“It is a complex situation that has involved a great deal of due diligence,’’ NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We are trying to wrap it up as soon as possible and will notify everyone appropriately when a conclusion is reached.’’

Reese and Sterger’s attorney, Joseph Conway, said they grew concerned early this week when they said NFL officials stopped returning their calls. That led them to believe that the NFL has decided not to punish Favre.

Aiello said no decisions have been made, and Reese said they had heard from the league.

Jets still recovering A day after being embarrassed on national television, the Jets wondered how everything went so wrong in a 45-3 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots.

“It was the game of the year,’’ a bloodshot-eyed coach Rex Ryan said. “The unfortunate thing is I feel bad for ourselves, obviously, our fans and, really, the NFL. The NFL deserved a better game than that, but we weren’t up to the task.’’

That was clear early in the Jets’ most lopsided loss since falling to the Dolphins in 1986 by the same score. New York was 10-1 at that point, and that defeat, along with injuries, sparked a five-game losing streak.

Ryan acknowledged there’s plenty the Jets need to fix before their game against the Dolphins to avoid a similar fate. He said he never left the facility after getting back from the game early yesterday morning.

“We got pummeled, we played terrible, but it’s one game,’’ Ryan said. “Everything we talked about is still attainable.’’

Safety James Ihedigbo was scheduled to have an MRI on his right knee — Ryan said it could be an injury to the medial collateral ligament, and a high ankle sprain. Ihedigbo, a backup on defense who is a prominent player on special teams, was injured in the third quarter Monday.

One player who won’t becoming aboard is free agent safety Keith Fitzhugh, who turned down the Jets offer to remain at his job operating trains with Norfolk Southern Railroad. “I know every two weeks I’m getting a paycheck,’’ Fitzhugh said.

Deadline extended The NFL reached an agreement with the Players’ Association to extend the union’s deadline to file a collusion claim. The league and the NFLPA announced the move in a joint statement. The union had until this week — 90 days after the start of the season — to level charges that teams had conspired to restrict players’ salaries this past offseason. The agreement does not prevent the union from filing a claim at a future date, though the new deadline is not known . . . Steelers tight end Heath Miller is doubtful for Sunday’s AFC North game against the Bengals because of the concussion he sustained from a helmet hit by Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain . . . The Colts put starting cornerback Jerraud Powers on injured reserve with a broken right forearm and have re-signed running back Dominic Rhodes . . . The Vikings signed former UFL running back Lorenzo Booker . . . The Bills placed guard Kraig Urbik (right knee) on injured reserve list and promoted guard Chad Rinehart from their practice squad . . . The Cardinals placed quarterback Max Hall (dislocated left shoulder) on injured reserve and signed former Redskins third-stringer Richard Bartel . . . The 49ers have reinstalled Alex Smith as their starting QB as they face a must-win game at home Sunday vs. NFC West rival Seattle . . . Browns linebacker Eric Barton is the team’s Ed Block Courage Award winner after coming back from a career-threatening neck injury. Barton has 50 tackles and a fumble recovery while playing in all 12 games.

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