One week after drawing heavy fines for illegal hits, James Harrison and Brandon Meriweather were praised by the NFL for clean play in Sunday’s victories.
Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, told the Associated Press on Monday that Meriweather and Harrison “heeded our emphasis” on eliminating fouls and deserved to be lauded. So do others, Anderson said, after no flags were thrown for illegal hits to defenseless players in the 13 games.
Harrison was fined $75,000 and Meriweather $50,000 for hits to defenseless opponents last week, when the NFL announced it would begin suspending players for such tackles.
“We like to think we’re off to a good start in terms of the new emphasis and the recognition that we are going to play aggressively but well within the rules,” Anderson said. “It’s a good start.”
In other NFL news:
• Unhappy with his role and little playing time, running back James Davis has been let go by the Cleveland Browns.
• The “cloud coverage” has cleared, and quarterback David Garrard is ready to return for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Almost. Garrard still has to pass post-concussion tests today to be cleared to practice and play for the Jaguars (3-4).
• Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Eben Britton will have season-ending shoulder surgery. Britton tore his right labrum Sunday at Kansas City.
• Reggie Bush says he’ll try practicing on his healing right leg Wednesday with the hope of playing against the Steelers on Sunday night.
• The injuries keep piling up the Green Bay Packers. Coach Mike McCarthy says veteran linebacker Brady Poppinga (knee) and rookie defensive lineman Mike Neal (shoulder) both are expected to have season-ending surgeries.
• Brian Cushing will replace DeMeco Ryans as the Houston Texans’ middle linebacker. Ryans is out for the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in the Texans’ 35-31 victory over Kansas City on Oct. 17.
• Darrelle Revis says his balky left hamstring is “100 percent,” and he will be ready to play unimpeded in the New York Jets’ next game at home against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
• Rams running back Steven Jackson has had finger surgery and his status for next week’s game is uncertain.
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Jerramy Stevens has been released by the team after being arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
• San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith spent Monday morning at a hospital in London having his injured left shoulder examined and is still waiting to hear if he will be able to play Sunday against the Broncos at Wembley Stadium.