Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Associated Press
DENVER - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he doesn't have a problem with the way the Washington Redskins' medical staff handled Robert Griffin III's knee injury.
Nevertheless, he's anticipating changes in the way injuries not affecting the head are evaluated on the sideline.
Goodell was in Denver for Saturday's Ravens-Broncos playoff game.
Griffin had reconstructive ACL surgery Wednesday after reinjuring his right knee in last Sunday's playoff loss to Seattle. He also strained a ligament in the knee last month against Baltimore.
That raised questions whether Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan should have let Griffin in either game after it was clear the quarterback was hurt.
Goodell said it was a "medical decision" and noted Griffin had no problem with it, either.
"Now, people can argue whether it was the wrong decision, but it was a medical decision and that's what we want it to be," Goodell said.
"Will we make further changes? Yeah, I would anticipate we will. We'll always look at that and try to see what else we can do to make sure the proper medical attention is being given, that they make the best medical evaluation and it's their determination to make."
Asked if independent doctors were needed on the sideline, not those chosen by the team, Goodell insisted the physicians were impartial.
"When you say independent, all these doctors work for other institutions," he said. "And they're well-respected and the medical care in the NFL is outstanding. And if they have a concussion, they have to see an independent neurologist before they're cleared to play."
Goodell said the league is looking into the poor playing conditions at FedEx Field last week, when not only RG3 was hurt, but the Seahawks lost their best pass rusher, Chris Clemons, to a torn ACL in his left knee.
In a meeting with reporters, Goodell also addressed the recent findings that Junior Seau had a degenerative brain disease often linked with repeated blows to the head when he shot himself in the chest last year.
Goodell said the findings underscore the need for additional research into CTE, and he noted that NFL teams have given a $30 million research grant to the NIH and are committed to spending $70 million more on heath research, as specified in its collective bargaining agreement with the players.
On other topics, Goodell said he hasn't made a decision on when to reinstate New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Peyton, who was suspended last season because of the team's bounty scandal. The commissioner also said he hasn't made up his mind on where he stands on the expansion of playoffs but wants to make sure any change in the format wouldn't dilute the importance of the regular-season games.
STUDIO, NOT SIDLINES: Bill Cowher said Saturday on CBS' "The NFL Today" that he has no plans to coach in the NFL, a few days after telling Newsday that he probably would come back at some point. The 55-year-old Cowher is an analyst for CBS who coached the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992-2006. He won a Super Bowl after the 2005 season.
Cowher said he plans "on being with one team, and that is this team here at CBS. I know we are going to the Super Bowl."
UNANIMOUS ALL-PRO: Vikings 2,000-yard man Adrian Peterson and Texans pass-swatting end J.J. Watt were unanimous choices for The Associated Press All-Pro team.
Peterson, who came within 9 yards of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, and Watt, who led the NFL with 201/2 sacks, were selected by all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members.
EAGLES: Philadelphia executives traveled to Atlanta and interviewed Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for the Eagles' vacant coaching position.
Seattle plays the Falcons in an NFC divisional playoff game Sunday. If Bradley is their guy, the Eagles can't officially hire him until the Seahawks are eliminated from the postseason.
COLTS: Indianapolis special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf will not be back on Coach Chuck Pagano's staff next season. Maalouf followed Pagano from Baltimore to Indianapolis last year.
CHIEFS: Kansas City hired longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey to replace the fired Scott Pioli as its general manager. The Chiefs announced the hiring while the Packers were playing the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC playoffs Saturday night. Dorsey will be introduced at a news conference Monday.