Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy reached out to official




One of the NFL replacement officials at the heart of the most controversial moment of the lockout said that Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy has reached out to him.

Wayne Elliott awarded Golden Tate and the Seattle Seahawks a game-winning touchdown Sept. 24 on a Hail Mary pass that appeared to have been intercepted by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings.

The resulting firestorm is thought to have spurred the league to reach an agreement with the regular officials.

Elliott told Showtime’s Inside the NFL that his phone didn’t stop ringing for 72 hours. One of the messages left was from McCarthy.

“He called me at my house last week because he had heard I was having a rough week with all the calls and everything,” Elliott said during the segment. “Wanted (me) to know that he thought what I did – controversial and maybe he didn’t agree with it – (but he thought) I handled it with class.”

Asked if he would stick by his call after seeing the replay, Elliott said: “I’d probably call interception. I learned a rule by screwing up the rule.”

• Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings will miss Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts because of a groin injury.

McCarthy said that Jennings, who has been bothered by the injury for the past three weeks, will be shut down for a week.


SAINTS: Suspended coach Sean Payton will be in attendance at the Louisiana Superdome for Sunday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers and is expected to be allowed meet with quarterback Drew Brees.

Payton cannot have contact with the Saints as part of his season-long suspension. But a league spokesman has stated that arrangements are being made for Payton to have a postgame visit with Brees, who can achieve a historic milestone if he throws a touchdown pass against the Chargers. It would break the record for consecutive games with a TD pass that he shares with Johnny Unitas at 47.


GIANTS: Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks will miss his third consecutive game when New York meets Cleveland on Sunday.


JETS: Tight end Dustin Keller and rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill, a former Georgia Tech standout, were among six players who sat out practice with injuries as the team prepares to play Houston on Monday night.