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Jets' Ainge gets 4-game penalty

November 22, 2008|associated press

New York Jets rookie quarterback Erik Ainge was suspended four games by the NFL on Friday for violating the league's policy on steroids and related substances.

Ainge, already on injured reserve and out for the season because of a foot injury, is not allowed to be with the team or at its facility during the suspension. The fifth-round pick from Tennessee will be eligible to rejoin the team Dec. 15, after the Jets' game against Buffalo.

Trouble ahead

As much as NFL teams are feeling a financial squeeze already, Commissioner Roger Goodell fears the economic downturn could hit the league harder in early 2009, when tickets for next season go on sale.

"There's no secret on sponsorship, advertising, licensing -- those numbers are going to be impacted by the current climate. We're aware of that," Goodell said in an interview with the Associated Press.

"We're still, unfortunately, in the beginning stages of this. And most of our tickets are sold in the spring. And so '09 is going to be more of a barometer of how impactful the economic environment's going to be on the NFL."


San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike Martz has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for his criticism of the officiating at the end of the 49ers' 29-24 loss in Arizona on Nov. 10. Also fined were Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards, who will lose $25,000 for two hits against Tampa Bay last Sunday, and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Brandon Jones ($15,000 for excessive celebration after a touchdown). . . . Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis was limited in practice Friday with his sprained knee and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. . . . Chicago Bears receiver Marty Booker will miss the game at St. Louis on Sunday because of a knee injury. . . . Cincinnati Bengals starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph will be out for the rest of the season because of a foot injury.

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