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NFL DAILY REPORT / AROUND THE LEAGUE

Brown Speaks Out About Eye Injury

August 31, 2000|Times Wire Services

Orlando Brown reached into his locker, tossed aside a few items and pulled out a referee's weighted yellow penalty flag--just like the one that struck the Cleveland Browns' offensive tackle in the right eye last season.

"I just don't want to forget," he said.

Brown, who was put on the physically unable to perform list Sunday and might never play football again, Wednesday made his most detailed comments yet about his ordeal that began in a Dec. 19 game against Jacksonville.

"My main thing is with the league," said Brown, sitting near his corner locker. "I don't think it's in the Browns' hands, I don't know. I look at who hurt me--the league. It wasn't the Browns. I just hope [the league] takes up their part of the bargain. I don't think they can go around hurting people and taking people out by hurting them and not want to take care of them. I don't think that's right."

In Week 15 last season, during the second quarter of a game against the Jaguars, Brown was struck in the right eye by a flag--weighted with BBs--that was thrown by referee Jeff Triplette.

Brown dropped to one knee in pain, and staggered toward the sideline. He came back onto the field and shoved Triplette to the ground. Brown has said he became enraged out of fear of going blind as his father did from glaucoma.

The eight-year veteran initially was suspended indefinitely, but the league lifted its penalty in February.

Brown has not heard from Triplette, who was not reprimanded by the league. Brown said he doesn't have anything personal against the official.

"I wish he just would have dropped the flag, that's all," he said.

Brown has retained lawyer Johnnie Cochran to explore the possibility of a lawsuit against the league.

"That's after the fact," Brown said. "I just want my eye to get right. That's the last thing. Trust me, I've got enough money. I've got no debts. I just want to play, that would make me happy. But when am I going to do that if my eye don't get right?"

*

In an effort to resolve their legal dispute with the Raiders, the City of Oakland and County of Alameda sent a letter to owner Al Davis outlining a settlement plan. The city and county officials are seeking to stop all litigation, get the Raiders to agree to a 15-year extension of their lease to play at the Oakland Coliseum through 2025, and make all existing personal seat licenses (PSLs) permanent. The plan also calls for the government entities and the Raiders to each contribute $500,000 to market the PSLs.

The plan was announced late Wednesday. There was no response from the Raiders.

*

After nearly a month on the sideline because of tendinitis in his right elbow, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre said that the extended rest has improved his condition considerably.

Favre threw several dozen passes during practice Wednesday and felt no significant pain. He expects to play in the Packers' regular-season opener Sunday against the New York Jets, though a final decision hasn't been made yet.

*

Indianapolis defensive back Mustafah Muhammad was convicted of one count of domestic battery of his pregnant wife in a bench trial at Indianapolis. Muhammad was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended, and one year's probation. He also must undergo 12 weeks of domestic violence counseling and perform 32 hours of community service.

*

Alan Lowry, the Tennessee Titan assistant who devised the kickoff return that beat Buffalo in the playoffs last season, will miss the season opener after doctors cleared a blocked heart artery. . . . Atlanta lineman Michael Thompson lost feeling in his right arm after jamming his neck in a practice drill. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital for X-rays. Coach Dan Reeves said Thompson had no feeling in his right arm, but did in his other extremities. . . . Quarterback Doug Flutie, who practiced in pads for the first time in almost a month, says his torn groin muscle feels "90%" healthy, but he still won't play Sunday in the Buffalo Bills' season opener against Tennessee. . . . New York Giant Coach Jim Fassel named Ron Dayne and Tiki Barber his co-starters at running back and said that each would touch the ball about 20 times a game. . . . Cleveland signed quarterback Doug Pederson, released by the Eagles on Sunday, to back up Tim Couch.

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