NFL focuses on player conduct rules

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The NFL will place a heavy emphasis on enforcing its player conduct rules, something Rams coach Jeff Fisher calls “a front-of-the-book issue.”

As the league’s spring meetings wrapped up Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., with commiss­ioner Roger Goodell saying expansion of the playoffs next season is possible, sportsmanship
– and lack thereof – was the prime topic.

“We’re going to clean the game up on the field,” said Fisher, co-chairman of the influential competition committee. “The in-your-face taunting, those types of things, the language. It’s all in the (rule) book. It’s all under unsportsmanlike conduct. There’s no change in our rule. We’re going to enforce the current rule.”

That includes abusive and racist language.

“It includes everything, yes,” Fisher said with emphasis.

He noted that everyone is fed up when a lack of sportsmanship occurs: owners, coaches, fans, players.

“The NCAA is hoping for us to do something about it and we’ve got to take the lead,” Fisher said, “and we’re going to do that.”

Also on Wednesday, the owners:

• Approved experimentation with
extra-point kicks from the 20-yard line for two weeks in the preseason, but implementing longer PATs for the regular season has been tabled.

• Adopted proposals to extend the length of goalposts 5 feet to 35 feet to better determine if kicks are good; to no longer stop the clock on sacks; and to allow video reviews on plays with a recovery of a loose ball on the field even though the play had been whistled dead.

NAVY: Running back Will McKamey, who has been hospitalized since collapsing at practice three days ago, has died while in a coma. He was 19. The freshman from Knoxville, Tenn., died at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore on Tuesday.

BEARS: Agreed to a four-year contract with Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen, who will get $15.5 million guaranteed.

KELLY UPDATE: Doctors treating Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly said Wednesday he will not immediately undergo surgery for a recurrence of cancer.

Instead, the longtime Buffalo Bills star will likely first be treated with chemotherapy and radiation, according to a statement from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.


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