NFL notebook: Report: Dolphis lineman sent racist text messages to teammate

| Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, 9:15 p.m.

In the stadium program sold at the Miami Dolphins' game on Halloween, Richie Incognito was asked who's the easiest teammate to scare. His answer: Jonathan Martin.

The troubled, troubling relationship between the two linemen took an ominous turn Monday with fresh revelations: Incognito sent text messages to his teammate that were racist and threatening, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins and NFL haven't disclosed the nature of the misconduct that led to Sunday's suspension of Incognito, a veteran with a reputation for dirty play.

Martin, a tackle, remained absent from practice Monday one week after he suddenly left the team because of emotional issues. Also missing was Incognito, a guard suspended indefinitely late Sunday by coach Joe Philbin for his treatment of Martin.

The 319-pound Incognito, a ninth-year pro, is white. The 312-pound Martin, who is in his second NFL season, is black. For much of the season they've played side by side.

Man convicted in Taylor slaying

A South Florida jury convicted a 23-year-old man of second-degree murder in the 2007 killing of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor during a botched home burglary.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating about 16 hours over several days in the case of Eric Rivera Jr.

Rivera also was convicted of armed burglary.

Rivera told police in a videotaped confession he shot Taylor when the Pro Bowl safety confronted a group of young men who broke into his house near Miami.

Fox undergoes heart surgery

One of John Fox's favorite sayings is “Next man up.”

This time, that next man up is defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who's in charge of the Denver Broncos while their head coach recovers from heart surgery.

Fox's wife, Robin, issued a statement through the team Monday that said Fox's operation went well and he was being monitored in the hospital's post-operative critical care unit

Report: Coach suffered TIA

NFL Network reported Monday that Texans coach Gary Kubiak suffered what doctors call a mini-stroke when he collapsed on the Reliant Stadium sideline during halftime of Sunday night's game against the Colts.

The official diagnosis is that Kubiak suffered a TIA, or transient ischemic attack, which occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time and affects blood flow in the brain.

Winslow back from suspension

Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. has returned to the New York Jets' facility after serving a four-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Winslow said he's still unsure why the positive test occurred, but thinks it was possibly for allergy medication he took. He insists that he doesn't take “illegal stuff.”

He said he opted to serve the suspension immediately rather than appeal because he wanted to be sure he would be available to the team for the second half of the season.

Winslow was the team's leading receiver before the suspension.

Around the league

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, a Pro Bowl selection last year, could be out until December with a broken foot. Rudolph was injured on a touchdown catch Sunday at Dallas.... The 49ers announced they activated wide receiver Mario Manningham from the physically unable to perform list, cornerback Eric Wright from the reserve/non-football injury list and waived cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. ... The Bills cleared injured quarterback EJ Manuel to practice. Manuel has been out the past month with a knee injury. Buffalo also released quarterback Matt Flynn. ... The Bengals placed defensive tackle Geno Atkins on injured reserve. Atkins, in his fourth season, is out for the season with a torn ACL. ... Nick Foles, who tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in Sunday's victory over Oakland, will remain the Eagles' starting quarterback for next Sunday's game against the Packers.

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