NFLPA might challenge Tagliabue's role in bounty appeals

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Tagliabue  M. SPENCER GREEN
M. SPENCER GREEN
Tagliabue

The NFL players’ union might challenge former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue replacing Roger Goodell as the appeals officer in the Saints’ bounties case.

The players association has concerns about “ethical and legal issues,” a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The NFL had no comment.

Tagliabue is scheduled to hear the appeals of Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove on Oct. 30. He was appointed Friday by Goodell, his successor as commissioner.

Tagliabue works for the law firm that is defending the league in U.S. District Court in Louisiana in the bounties case. The NFLPA believes that’s a conflict of interest. The union also might contend that such “pay-for programs” existed when Tagliabue was commissioner, with his knowledge.

The NFL and the union discussed the possibility that Tagliabue would step in if Goodell recused himself from hearing the appeals, and the union also suggested “several outsiders” who could be used in place of Goodell, the person said.

CHARGERS: The NFL is investigating whether the team used a banned sticky substance during Monday night’s loss to Denver.

If the league determines the Chargers used the substance, they could be fined or lose a draft pick.

“We have been looking into it,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The Chargers issued a statement Sunday that sad they are “aware of the inquiry and are cooperating fully with the League.”

During Monday night’s game, an equipment manager came onto the field with an illegal substance on hand towels, Fox Sports reported. Line judge Jeff Bergman saw the towels and tried to confiscate the substance. When the equipment manager wouldn’t give it up, the officials made him empty his pockets and found a skin colored or clear type of tape, Fox Sports reported.

REDSKINS: Tight end Fred Davis tore his left Achilles tendon Sunday and will miss the rest of the season.

Davis was injured in the first half of the Redskins’ 27-23 loss to the Giants. He needed help to the sideline and then onto a trainer’s table before he was carted to the locker room.

“I didn’t know what it was right away,” Davis said. “I have never experienced anything like that. I was unable to walk and then I knew something really was wrong.

“I was running my route and stuck my leg in and either got stepped on or it happened naturally.”

Davis was the team’s leading receiver with 23 catches for 312 yards entering Sunday’s game.

“I had a lot of things I wanted to do this year and I was doing it,” he said. “It’s very discouraging.”

JAGUARS: Lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a foot injury. Then quarterback Blaine Gabbert hurt his left shoulder.

Jones-Drew was on the field for just two snaps Sunday, carrying the ball on the first two plays at Oakland before leaving with an ailing left foot. When Gabbert departed midway through the second quarter, Jacksonville was in control of the game.

But the Jaguars managed only two downs after halftime behind backup quarterback Chad Henne went on to a 26-23 overtime loss.


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