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NFL roundup: Chargers team doctor exonerated

The SportsXchange

A panel of three independent doctors ruled that San Diego Chargers team doctor David Chao is "totally exonerated" after the NFL Players Association claimed that he is unfit to serve in his role, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Saturday.

The doctors found no basis for the NFLPA complaint that Chao should be replaced after losing malpractice suits last summer.

"It seems to me that the players of the National Football League deserve to have a doctor who's not been found liable of malpractice," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said in a news conference on Jan. 31.

The State of California tried to revoke or suspend Chao's license, citing evidence that he committed acts of gross negligence in his care of three patients in 2007 and 2010. USA Today reported that Chao was found liable for negligence in two malpractice cases, which resulted in multi-million dollar payments to the victims.

Chargers center Nick Hardwick, the team's union representative, told the Union-Tribune that he "completely" trusts Chao.

---The New Orleans Saints denied an NFL.com report that new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's contract stipulates that he must get permission from the team's public relations vice president Greg Bensel before speaking to the media. Bensel wrote via Twitter that the report is "100 percent false."

That could be because the Saints have not even drafted a contract yet for Ryan to sign, according to NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk. The Saints announced the Ryan hire on Saturday and the NFL.com report came out later in the day.

---Quarterback Aaron Rodgers envisions himself as a Green Bay Packer for at least as long as Brett Favre was the team's signal caller.

Favre spent 16 years with Green Bay until finishing his career with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.

Rodgers told the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Saturday that he wants to stay with the Packers for just as long, if not longer than Favre.

---The NFL's competition committee considered widening the field a year ago as a means to make the game safer, and the league may look at the possibility again,Dan Pompei of the National Football Post reported.

The committee is scheduled to meet later this month, and former committee member Bill Polian, an ESPN analyst who was named the NFL's executive of the year six times, told Pompei the NFL should consider widening the field, based on his experience in the Canadian Football League, which plays its games on a field that is 35 feet wider than the NFL field.
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