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NFL Roundup: Bounty hearing postponed by hurricane, Fujita placed on IR

The SportsXchange

Tuesday's scheduled 'bounty' suspension appeals hearing in New York was postponed due to a hurricane expected to hit the East Coast.

A source told NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk that former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who is deciding on the matter, has "adjourned" the hearing. A new date for the appeal is not determined. Tagliabue could make an announcement Monday.

A judge in Louisiana is still expected to proceed Monday with the briefing process on the suspended players' attempt to recuse Tagliabue from ruling in the appeal.

Four players are appealing their suspensions in the 'bounty' scandal. New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith will play Sunday at the Denver Broncos. Former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita (now with the Cleveland Browns) is on injured reserve. Defensive end Anthony Hargrove is not with a team.

---The Cleveland Browns placed linebacker Scott Fujita on injured reserve and signed defensive lineman Brian Sanford to the active roster from the practice squad.

Fujita is out with a neck injury that could be career-threatening.

Sanford entered the NFL in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in five games with the Browns. He was inactive for the eight games he was on the 53-man roster in 2010. Last season, he saw action in five games and totaled three tackles.

He spent the first seven weeks of the 2012 season on the practice squad.

Fujita appeared in four games this season with three starts and totaled 14 tackles with one sack.

---New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard were ruled out for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN New York reported Saturday.

Phillips (knee) and Bernard (quadriceps) joined linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee) as the Giants who did not make the trip to Dallas. Williams was ruled out Friday.

Also, running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) is listed as questionable but made the trip.

Phillips and Bernard will each miss their fourth consecutive game while Williams is out for his second straight contest.

Stevie Brown will start in place of Phillips and Chris Canty will likely start with Linval Joseph at the defensive tackle spots.

---Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Derek Sherrod is likely lost for the season because of a broken tibia and fibula.

The Packers' first round pick in 2011 sustained the injuries in December against the Kansas City Chiefs and has not returned.

"He's not ready," coach Mike McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "That's really all I can tell you. I know he's frustrated, but we all saw the injury. It was a serious injury, definitely something that we're not going to rush him back."

The Packers hoped that Sherrod would be ready by training camp. Instead, he would up on the physically unable to perform list and has until Nov. 5 to return to practice. However, the Packers are closer to placing him on injured reserve.

Sherrod played five games last year as a backup.

---Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba was suspended four games after testing positive for a banned stimulant, the Charlotte Observer reported Saturday.

Ziemba released a statement through his agent.

Ziemba, who is on injured reserve, said he never knowingly took a performance-enhancing substance. Ziemba, however, will not appeal the suspension.

The lineman will give up a fourth of his salary -- $116,250 -- in serving the suspension.

The substance for which Ziemba tested positive was not mentioned in his statement and the Observer was unable to contact him for further comment.

Ziemba said in the statement that he found out about the positive test in mid-September. He tore his lateral meniscus during training camp.

"I was extremely confused and upset when I was informed of this result since I have never knowingly ingested any performance-enhancing substance," he said. "My training regimen has included supplements that I carefully chose and believed to be free from any prohibited substance under the NFL/NFLPA policies.

"After extensive discussions and careful consideration of the terms of the NFL/NFLPA policies, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation."

Panthers defensive tackle Andre Neblett tested positive during the offseason and was suspended for the first four games of this season.

---Denver Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter won't likely be well enough to play against his former team Sunday night.

Porter left the New Orleans Saints for the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

Porter hoped to return after missing the Oct. 15 Monday night game against the Chargers. Porter was experiencing light-headedness and a rapid heartbeat, the same symptoms that served as a precursor to a seizure he had in August.

Porter said he was ready to play, but added that "coaches, the training staff and the doctors are going to make a decision that's best for me."

---The consecutive games played streaks of New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott and Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Michael Roos will both end at 199 this Sunday.

The Jets take on the Miami Dolphins while the Titans face the Indianapolis Colts.

Scott, who has only missed one game in his career, will not play because of a toe injury, according to the New York Daily News.

Roos will miss his first career game after having his appendix removed on Monday, TitanInsider.com reported.

---Safety Damon Cromartie-Smith was promoted off the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice squad.

Cromartie-Smith, who was on the team's practice squad most of last season before being promoted Dec. 8, 2011, had spent the first seven weeks of this season on the practice squad as well. He made three special teams tackles while playing in the final four regular-season games last season and Pittsburgh's playoff loss at the Denver Broncos.

Offensive lineman John Malecki was released.

---New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Saturday that London is ready to have its own NFL team, ESPN Boston reported.

Kraft made the comment at the NFL FanFest rally in London where the Patriots will take on the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

"You're already hosting the premier league, and we believe we're the premier sport in the world," he said. "I think London has shown, with the way they've handled the Olympics and every other major sporting event, that it's time for you to have your own NFL franchise, based in London."

The game at Wembley Stadium is at 1 p.m. ET. It marks the sixth regular-season NFL game played in London.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play a "home" game in London in each of the next four seasons. The Jaguars will "host" the San Francisco 49ers next year. Also, the Minnesota Vikings will be the home team against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013.

"As these things develop and there's a permanent home team now, I'm sure they'll develop a great following," Kraft said.

---Former Minnesota Vikings running back Michael Bennett was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for his role in a Florida fraud scheme, according to TwinCities.com.

Bennett pleaded guilty to wire fraud three months before the sentencing.

Former Oakland Raiders and New York Giants defensive tackle William Joseph and former Syracuse defensive tackle Louis Gachelin were also involved and are awaiting sentencing. They pleaded guilty to related charges.

The men cashed $500,000 worth of fraudulent tax refund checks.
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