Ex-commissioner Paul Tagliabue to hear bounty appeals

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NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appointed predecessor Paul Tagliabue to hear the appeals of four players suspended in the Saints’ bounty scandal.

Goodell said Friday he notified Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove, as well as the players’ union, that Tagliabue would be the hearing officer to “decide the appeals and bring the matter to a prompt and fair conclusion.”

The union and the four players had asked Goodell to recuse himself, contending he could not fairly rule. Their second set of appeals will be heard Oct. 30.

FINED: The NFL fined the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills $20,000 each Friday for violating league procedures on reporting injuries.

The injuries involved Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and Bills defensive end Mario Williams.

PANTHERS: Coach Ron Rivera said starting cornerback Chris Gamble will have an MRI on his right shoulder to determine if he has a torn labrum, the same injury that sent offensive lineman Mike Pollak to injured reserve earlier this season.

BROWNS: Starting left guard Jason Pinkston remains hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs, a life-threatening condition he’s grateful was detected early.

After the Browns revealed Pinkston’s condition after practice on Friday, he confirmed his illness on Twitter while being treated at the Cleveland Clinic.

“The news is true I’ve been hospitalized with blood clots in my lungs very thankful our medical staff did a great job of taking action,” Pinkston wrote on his account. “And catching it at a early stage it’s obviously clear I won’t be playing for sometime but more importantly I’m thankful to be alive.”


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