Detroit News wire services / Detroit News wire services
Washington— Concerns about injuries and insurance make the league’s push to switch to an 18-game regular season a major sticking point in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, according to two NFL players who are members of the union’s executive committee. The NFL wants to add two games to the current 16-game format for the regular season, and eliminate two of four preseason games, saying fans would prefer that and more revenue could be generated.
“To me, right now, as things stand, 18 games, the way it’s being proposed, is completely unacceptable. … I see more and more players get injured every season,” Browns linebacker Scott Fujita said Tuesday on a media conference call arranged by the union.
Both Fujita and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, the other player participating in Tuesday’s call, went on IR in 2010.
“We put our bodies on the line and produce a lot of revenue and we get five years of post-retirement health insurance,” said Foxworth, who missed all season after tearing his right knee during an orientation practice the day before training camp. “And then they want to tack on two more games. … which is just going to multiply the injuries and the ailments that we’re going to see.”
The Panthers hired Ron Rivera as coach, making the San Diego defensive coordinator the second Latino head coach in NFL history.
Rivera replaces John F ox , who was let go earlier this month after Carolina went 2-14 in his ninth season.
… Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams withdrew his name from consideration for the Broncos job.
Rick Dennison , who spent almost a quarter century with the Broncos as a linebacker and an assistant coach, interviewed for Denver’s head coaching vacancy.
… The Browns interviewed Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to be their coach.
Fewell is the third known candidate to formally meet with Browns president Mike Holmgren , who fired Eric Mangini last week. The Browns have also interviewed Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur (Michigan State) and Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey .
Playoffs Wild card
Saturday, Jan. 8
Seattle 41, New Orleans 36
N.Y. Jets 17, Indianapolis 16
Sunday, Jan. 9
Baltimore 30, Kansas City 7
Green Bay 21, Philadelphia 16
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m. CBS
Green Bay at Atlanta, 8 p.m. Fox
Seattle at Chicago, 1 p.m. Fox
N.Y. Jets at New England, 4:30 p.m. CBS