NFL Notebook: Bounty players file appeals with league
All four players punished in the NFL's bounty investigation have filed appeals with the league, asking commissioner Roger Goodell to remove himself as arbitrator because they do not believe he can be impartial, according to people familiar with the situation.
One of the sources also said New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma expects to play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 21 while his appeal is pending. The people spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the appeals were filed as private documents with the league.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Friday that all four players had filed appeals, but said the league would decline comment on the substance of those documents.
49ers coach fires back
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said the comments Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride made about All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith are “outrageous” and “incendiary.”
Gilbride says the 49ers' Smith “does a good job of grabbing ahold of offensive linemen” and “never gets called for it so he gets away with murder.”
Megatron played woozy
Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson admitted he suffered a concussion — yet returned to the game — when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway in the Lions' last game.
Johnson was asked after practice Thursday whether he had suffered one in the Sept. 30 game at Ford Field.
“Yeah, yeah, he knocked me good,” Johnson said. “You could tell. It was obvious.”
Arizona calls on Stephens-Howling
LaRod Stephens-Howling, who has worked out as the Arizona Cardinal's No. 1 running back this week, will have an increased role against a Buffalo Bills defense that has been highly susceptible to the run in the past two weeks and ranks 30th in the league.
With Beanie Wells (turf toe) injured and Ryan Williams (shoulder) out for the season, the 5-foot-7 former Pitt back is atop the depth chart.
“People might call him a scat back,” center Lyle Sendlein said, “but if you ask him he'll tell you he's an every-down back, and we believe he is. I guess you compare him to like a Warrick Dunn.”
Stephens-Howling's backup is 5-9 former free agent William Powell.
RG3 full-go, set to play
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (concussion) took part in a full practice for the first time this week and appears set to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Revis goes on IR
The Jets placed Darrelle Revis on season-ending injured reserve, a few weeks after Rex Ryan said the team would wait until after surgery in case the star cornerback could return in time to play in the Super Bowl.
Jets G docked for block
Jets guard Matt Slauson was fined $10,000 for his illegal block on Texans linebacker Brian Cushing that tore ligaments in Cushing's left knee, sidelining him for the season.
Browns ink rookie WR
The Browns signed rookie Josh Cooper from the practice squad. Cooper caught 71 passes last season at Oklahoma State as Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden's top target after Justin Blackmon.
Griffen back with Vikings
Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen is planning to travel with the Vikings to Washington and play in Sunday's game following the sudden death of his mother.
Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee) is questionable Sunday at the 49ers. ... Jets tight end Dustin Keller (hamstring) and rookie receiver Stephen Hill (hamstring) are likely to return to New York's 28th-ranked offense Sunday against the Colts.