NFL ROUNDUP

NFL will review rule that resulted in Texans’ TD

Sports Xchange

November 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Ndamukong Suh’s foot that landed below the belt of Houston quarterback Matt Schaub in Thursday’s game will be the subject of a review by the NFL.

NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson will examine the evidence from the play and determine next week whether punitive action is needed against the Detroit Lions defensive lineman, NFL.com reported Friday.

The incident took place in the first quarter on Thanksgiving when Suh, blocked by an offensive lineman to the ground, reached out with his left foot and connected with Schaub in the groin area. It’s uncertain whether Suh’s actions were intentional.

“In our normal course, we identify hits for potential discipline,” Anderson told NFL.com. “Certainly, that will be one that will be reviewed after the weekend’s slate of game as part of normal course of action. It drew our attention.”

Suh left the locker room Thursday without comment. Schaub sidestepped a controversy.

“I really don’t have anything to say about that play or that person,” Schaub said after the Texans’ overtime win.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak was not happy.

“I won’t go there,” Kubiak said. “I didn’t like it. Obviously, I let the official know.”

Suh has a history of similar incidents, which Anderson said will be taken into account during the review.

During last year’s Thanksgiving game, Suh stepped on the right arm of Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith and drew a two-game suspension. He also has received fines in the past for hits on quarterbacks Andy Dalton of Cincinnati, Jay Cutler of Chicago and Jake Delhomme of Cleveland.

—The NFL will consider changing the rule that kept officials from reviewing the long touchdown run Thursday in Houston’s overtime win over Detroit.

Game officials were unable to review Justin Forsett’s 81-yard score in the third quarter when Lions coach Jim Schwartz immediately threw the red challenge flag on a play that, in this case a touchdown, was automatically reviewable. SI.com reported that an NFL source said the rule likely will be overturned in the future.

The league official called the rule “too onerous,” according to SI.com.

ESPN reported Friday that the NFL’s competition committee is planning to discuss the rule in the next few days and could modify it during the season.

When Schwartz threw the red flag after it appeared Forsett was down but kept running, the NFL rule book states that a 15-yard penalty should be assessed for “initiating a challenge when a team is prohibited from doing so.” The rule was designed to keep coaches from stopping play just to argue a call and manipulate the clock by delaying the next snap.

Schwartz acknowledged his mea culpa after the game.

“I knew the rule — you can’t challenge on a turnover or a scoring play — but I was so mad that I overreacted,” Schwartz said. “I had the flag in my hand before he even scored because he was obviously down.”

During the game, former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira tweeted: “Just got back from the field. The rule penalizing Schwartz is good. The rule not allowing the play to be reviewed is horrible. Must change.”

The Texans ultimately benefited from Schwartz’s mistake in their 34-31 overtime win.

“A rule’s a rule,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “I know one thing: You’ve got to keep your flag tucked in your pocket.”

—New York Jets coach Rex Ryan won’t be making a change at quarterback after the 49-19 Thanksgiving night loss to the New England Patriots.

Ryan confirmed after Thursday’s game that Mark Sanchez will remain the starter at least for the Jets’ next game against Arizona.

Sanchez completed 26 of 36 passes for 301 yards with one touchdown and one interception against New England. His fumble that resulted in a Patriots touchdown was part of a 35-point second quarter that buried the Jets in a 32-point halftime hole.

“Mark will be the starting quarterback this week, and we’ll see where we go from there,” Ryan said.

Ryan appears to have no choice but to stick with Sanchez. After the game, backup quarterback Tim Tebow revealed that he has two broken ribs. Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy was inactive for the game.

“I had to do a little bit of talking just to dress,” Tebow said, “but I just want to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation.”

Tebow apparently suffered the injury in a game against Seattle in week 10, but Ryan insisted Friday that Tebow could have played.

“I wasn’t going to put him out there,” Ryan said. “I mean, he’d practiced but a couple of days ago. You could tell he was hurting, maybe his breathing was a little different and I’m standing there like ‘Shoot, I wouldn’t play my son if that was the situation.’ To Tim’s credit, he wanted to be there for his team, there’s no doubt.

“I was like, look, if we absolutely have to have him, then we may consider it. But to me that would be the only way we were going to play Tim.”

Ryan also said he doesn’t fear for his job. He believes the Jets will bounce back and finish strong in their remaining games.

Asked if expects to be back next year, Ryan said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, “I do, I do. And I think our team will play a heckuva lot better, and I don’t think anyone will ask that question by the time the year is over. That’s my personal opinion.”

—Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick underwent surgery Friday on his broken left hand, ESPN reported.

The chances of Scandrick returning to action this season weren’t immediately known, a source told the network.

The injury occurred in the second quarter of the Cowboys’ loss to Washington on Thursday when a teammate hit him while he was making a tackle. X-rays confirmed the fracture.

“Being optimistic, hopefully I’ll be back,” Scandrick said after the game. “If there is any way I can play, I will be back.”

Linebacker Bruce Carter also was injured against the Redskins. He left the game in the fourth quarter with a dislocated left elbow.

Carter was scheduled for an MRI on Friday. The Cowboys are hoping a brace will allow Carter to play.

Among the Cowboys’ injuries Thursday were defensive end Jason Hatcher (concussion) and wide receiver Miles Austin (strained hip flexor). Austin, who exited the game in the first quarter and didn’t return, was to undergo an MRI on Friday.

—San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was officially listed as questionable Friday, although the team has yet to announce who will start Sunday’s game at the New Orleans Saints.

Smith missed last Monday night’s victory over the Chicago Bears with a concussion, and needs to pass a “contact test” before being cleared to play against the Saints. He took part in “limited” practice Friday.

49ers safety Donte Whitner might have let the cat out of the bag earlier Friday when he said on “The Dan Patrick Show” that Colin Kaepernick would start against the Saints.

49ers coaches have refused to say definitively this week whether Kaepernick would get the start. While attempting to avoid a quarterback controversy, they apparently have created one.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Wednesday that no decision had been made, which was contrary to a Sports Illustrated report that indicated coach Jim Harbaugh informed Smith that Kaepernick would receive the nod.

ESPN reported Friday that Smith had passed the league’s protocol and was cleared to play Sunday against the Saints.

Roman said earlier that Smith looked good in practice this week. However, Kaepernick has taken taken the first-team reps in practice.

Kaepernick created the shake-up by playing well in the 32-7 win over the Bears, completing 19 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns.

Before Smith sustained the concussion on Nov. 11 against St. Louis, has was having a solid season, connecting on 70 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

—Bryce Brown will start at running back for Philadelphia in place of LeSean McCoy on Sunday against Carolina.

Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg confirmed Friday that Brown will make his first career start. McCoy is recovering from a concussion along with quarterback Michael Vick.

“My expectations are very high with Bryce Brown,” Mornhinweg said, according to The News Journal. “I would expect him to do very well.”

Brown has rushed for 141 yards this season in limited duty.

—Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury, the team said Friday.

Matthews won’t be available for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. The three-time Pro Bowl selection, who sat out last week’s win over Detroit, was not practicing Friday.

Matthews suffered the injury in the Packers’ win over Arizona on Nov. 4. He has nine sacks this season.

—The Philadelphia Eagles claimed wide receiver Greg Salas off waivers on Friday.

Salas was waived by the New England Patriots before their game against the New York Jets on Thursday.

The Eagles release wide receiver Mardy Gilyard to make room for Salas. They are trying to add depth to the position because of a hamstring injury to Jason Avant, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk.

Salas, a fourth-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2011, played in just six games his rookie year and then was traded to New England for a seventh-rounder before the beginning of this season.

—Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is officially out for this Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Roethlisberger will miss his second straight game because of shoulder/rib injury.

With backup Byron Leftwich out with two broken ribs, the Steelers will turn to veteran Charlie Batch to start at quarterback.

—New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles is listed as probable to start against the visiting San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Sproles has missed the last three games after having surgery to repair a broken hand.

Mark Ingram, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas have been combining for carries in place of Sproles.

—Houston Texans linebacker Brooks Reed will miss three to four weeks because of a groin injury, NFL.com reported Friday.

Reed, a second-year player with 2 1/2 sacks this year, was knocked out of Thursday’s game against the Detroit Lions in the first quarter with a groin injury.

Houston, which beat the Detroit Lions in overtime on Thursday, plays its next game on Dec. 2 against the Tennessee Titans.

—New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington was fined $21,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit against Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Arrington is the seventh Colts opponent to be fined for hits against Luck, totaling $97,500, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The offense occured during last Sunday’s 59-24 victory for New England.

 

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