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NFL REPORT

NFL fines Jets $100,000 for assistant coach's tactic

Sal Alosi tripped a Dolphins player during a punt return and ordered five inactive players to form a wall on the sideline to impede opposing players.

December 30, 2010|Wire reports

The NFL fined the New York Jets $100,000 on Thursday for violating league rules when assistant coach Sal Alosi tripped Miami's Nolan Carroll on the sideline during a punt return this month.

The Jets were fined because Alosi "placed players in a prohibited area on the sideline to impede an opposing team's special-teams players and gain a competitive advantage." The NFL called it a competitive violation as well as a dangerous tactic.

Alosi and special-teams coach Mike Westhoff also have been cited for public comments accusing other teams of employing similar tactics.

"We will comply with the league's decision," the Jets said in a statement.

Five inactive players were ordered by Alosi, the team's strength and conditioning coach, to stand together nearly shoulder to shoulder on the sideline in New York's 10-6 loss to Miami on Dec. 12. Tight end Jeff Cumberland, one of the inactive players, said Alosi had told them to do that all season.

Alosi was first suspended without pay for the season and fined $25,000 for tripping Carroll, before being suspended indefinitely by the team after acknowledging that he ordered the players to form the wall.

Westhoff and Coach Rex Ryan denied any knowledge of the tactic, despite some speculation that they both must have known about it.

"I wasn't aware that was going on," Ryan said at the time. "It's easy for me to stand here and tell you that."

The NFL recently met with the team to investigate the incident and spoke with Westhoff about his comments, when he said other teams employ the wall tactic, including the New England Patriots.

"I'm not accusing the Patriots of doing something wrong," Westhoff said. "Maybe they're doing something smart. That's up to you. Watch the tape, you tell me."

In its statement Thursday, the NFL said the fine was imposed to "emphasize that clubs are accountable for the actions of their employees and have the obligation to ensure that all members of their organization comply with league rules." It also stated that the league policies require teams to report "actual or suspected violations of competitive rules" by other teams to the NFL office only, and not to publicly criticize them.

Sanchez will start for Jets

Mark Sanchez is ready to go for the New York Jets.

Coach Rex Ryan announced that the second-year quarterback will start in the team's regular-season finale against Buffalo, but he's uncertain how long he'll stay in the game. It's possible Sanchez could play a few series or a few quarters before giving way to Mark Brunell and Kellen Clemens.

"We'll go ahead and start Mark this game," Ryan said. "How long he plays, we'll determine that as the game goes."

Ryan said Sanchez, dealing with a sore right shoulder, showed some zip on his passes in practice and looked good enough to make him feel comfortable about starting him for the playoff-bound Jets (10-5). "Last week at this time, I had my concerns," Ryan said. "Right now, he is zipping it pretty good. I don't want to put him out there if we don't think he's healthy, but I believe he is healthy now."

Vick probably won't play

Michael Vick sat out practice because of a leg injury and is unlikely to play Sunday when the Eagles host Dallas.

The NFC East champion Eagles (10-5) are locked into the No. 3 seeding, so Vick might not be playing even if he were completely healthy. Coach Andy Reid has rested his starters in other meaningless games before the playoffs in past years.

Kevin Kolb, the starter in Week 1, would make his fifth start this season in Vick's place.

Garrard has finger surgery

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right middle finger.

Garrard had surgery Thursday at Baptist Orthopaedic Surgery Center in Jacksonville, Fla. Garrard posted a picture of himself wearing a sling and cast on Twitter following the outpatient procedure. Garrard tweeted "Surgery went great. Now for the recovery!"

Garrard said his rehabilitation is expected to take two months.

Etc.

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton says leading receiver Marques Colston had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and might not be able to play in this Sunday's regular-season finale against Tampa Bay. The Saints also put kick returner Courtney Roby on injured reserve…. The New York Giants signed cornerback Brian Witherspoon and put punt returner Will Blackmon on injured reserve…. Minnesota Vikings interim Coach Leslie Frazier said that Brett Favre hasn't passed a post-concussion test, leaving the 41-year-old quarterback roughly three more days to gain medical clearance to play Sunday at Detroit…. Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis sat out his second straight day of practice to rest sore ribs.

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