NFL roundup: 49ers Harbaugh undergoes 'minor' heart surgery

The SportsXchange

NFL

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh had a "minor procedure" Thursday to correct an irregular heartbeat, the team announced.

He missed practiced, and is expected to return soon.

"Coach Harbaugh isn't at the facility today under doctor's orders," the team said in a statement. "He is having a minor procedure done at Stanford Hospital today for an irregular heartbeat. We anticipate that he will be back at the facility [Friday], but do not have any further information to share at this time. Assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely will be overseeing today's practice and meetings. When more information regarding coach Harbaugh is available we will pass that along."

The 49ers face the Chicago Bears Monday night.

---Washington Redskins sensation Robert Griffin III has accomplished much in his first season as a starting quarterback.

Add NFL offensive captain to that list.

The team's offensive players voted Wednesday to name Griffin a team captain for the rest of the season.

"You just know that everybody's looking at me to be the guy, to make everything work," Griffin told. "To me, that's not pressure. But I just echo it to everyone else that it's not just me. People will say it's me and I'll get all the blame and all the fame, but it's the guys around me that make me great."

Griffin has been a leader almost from the day he joined the team. He has passed for 1,993 passing yards and rushed for another 529 this season. On Sunday, he'll likely become the third rookie QB in NFL history to eclipse 2,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards.

Griffin joins left tackle Trent Williams as the offensive captains. Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen were added to London Fletcher on defense. Lorenzo Alexander remains the lone special teams captain.

---Running back Rashard Mendenhall, who has missed seven games this season, will start against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, according to a fellow running back.

Isaac Redman, who has taken the majority of the snaps in Mendenhall's absence, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it expects Rashard Mendhall hall to start based on practice developments this week.

Mendenhall, who missed the first three games while recovering from a knee injury, has missed the last four games with an Achilles' injury. He has gained 74 yards in two games this season.

Redman has run 295 yards in seven games while Jonathan Dwyer has a team-leading 355 yards in two games.

---Brett Hartmann, a former punter with the Houston Texans, is suing the owners of Houston's Reliant Stadium for negligence regarding an injury he suffered to his non-kicking leg late last season, his lawyer announced Thursday.

Hartmann alleges he suffered a career-threatening knee injury last December when his foot was caught in a seam between grass pods, attorney Greg Egdorf said.

In March, Hartmann was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Reliant's field is built with 1,200 interlocking eight-foot square pods of grass. Most NFL stadiums are built on a single sheet of grass.

Hartmann, a rookie punter last season, claims he suffered a torn ACL and a fractured lower leg on the play in question. He was cut by the team in August.

Egdorf said the defendants are Pennsylvania-based SMG, which provides the stadium grass, and the Harris County Convention and Sports Corporation, which owns and operates the facility. Neither has responded to the suit, according to the Houston Press.

Egdorf claimed that several other NFL players have suffered injuries because of Reliant's grass pods. Among those he mentioned were New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.

Hartmann is seeking unspecified monetary damages, Edgdorf said. He claims TV coverage of the game clearly shows Hartmann's injury was caused by the seam.

He was credited for serving one game of his suspension during the Texans' playoff run, which he missed after tearing his ACL and being placed on injured reserve. He will have to sit out the first three games if another team signs him.

Hartmann finished his rookie season with a 44.4-yard average and a 37.8 net. He was an undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan who the Texans released in their cut to 80 players during training camp, then re-signed after Brad Maynard struggled in the final preseason game.

---Should Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow start for the New York Jets?

Stop if you've this before.

Thursday's edition of the Jets quarterback controversy features a debate as to whether running back Shonn Greene suggested that the team switch the two. It also comes on the heels of head coach Rex Ryan blasting his players after an anonymous player referred to Tebow as "terrible."

Greene was quoted by Yahoo! Sports Mike Silver Wednesday as saying "something's got to change," remarks that was framed to suggest the quarterback position. Greens's agent, Sean Howard, defended his client to NBC's PrimeFootballTalk on Thursday.

"Nowhere did he say Tebow should be the starting quarterback," Howard said. "Knowing Shonn as I do, he has always defended his teammates. Shonn's not that guy. Because of the headline, everybody was quick to conclude that Shonn was advocating for change. That's just not the case."

The headline that ran on Yahoo! read: "Jets RB Shonn Greene is right: Time for team to hand ball to 'terrible' Tim Tebow," and Silver defended himself.

"I don't write the headlines," Silver said in an email to PFT, "but I stand by everything in the column, including the accuracy of the quote. In fairness to Shonn, he was reacting to an opinion I expressed (about giving Tebow a shot) but the quotes are accurate, and I was taking notes in front of him. I feel badly that we are in this situation. I believe he is a good, well-meaning teammate who is frustrated about the team's losing streak."

For the record, here's what Greene said. "Something's got to change. When you get to the point where you're 3-6, and losing and losing, a couple of guys are like, 'Oh, what would happen [if Tebow played]?' But guys at the same time have faith in Mark, so it's kind of an up-and-down thing.

"You feel bad for Mark, but at the same time you want to win games. We're not here to protect people's feelings. If you want to win games, you've got to try something. If somebody's not getting the job done, you see if somebody else can do it. It's the same with coaching, or any position. You don't mean to belittle someone or say 'he sucks.' That's just the harsh reality."

---The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted linebacker Marshall McFadden to the active roster Thursday.

McFadden spent the first 10 weeks of the season on the practice squad. To make room on the active roster, linebacker Chris Carter was placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list with an abdominal injury.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball
View Comments