London Fletcher blamed security workers at Cleveland Browns Stadium for… (Gerald Herbert / Associated…)
Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher on Monday blamed security workers at Cleveland Browns Stadium for a confrontation that led to the arrests of several of his relatives during his first NFL game in his hometown.
A report from the Cleveland Police Department, however, blamed what it called a "riot" on the fans who were arrested, saying a security official was punched and knocked to the ground while trying to escort an unruly spectator from the stadium.
Fletcher said four of his family members were arrested and still in custody as of Monday afternoon. Cleveland police spokeswoman Det. Jennifer Ciaccia said that five people were arrested on suspicion of assault on a police officer, aggravated rioting and resisting arrest and that they had not been officially charged by Monday evening.
Fletcher said he had about 50 friends and family members at the stadium for Washington's 38-21 win at Cleveland on Sunday. He said they were harassed because they were wearing Redskins colors, but he said the fracas apparently began when a security official was asking how the large group had acquired such good seats.
"Really what led to the ruckus was something that happened with stadium security — where they're supposed to defuse the situation, they were more instigators or they didn't defuse the situation," Fletcher said. "It wasn't even with the fans at that point in time. I think one of the stadium workers, I don't know, he went overboard with what his job responsibilities were."
The police report said the incident began when a security officer saw a fan who claimed to be related to Fletcher taunting Browns fans. When the officer later tried to eject the fan, others became involved and that one fan punched the officer, "knocking him to the ground."
Griffin still not cleared
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said he's still waiting for a thumbs up from doctors before declaring that Robert Griffin III can return to game action.
The rookie quarterback sprained the lateral collateral ligament his right knee in last week's win over the Baltimore Ravens and sat out the game Sunday at Cleveland.
"We're going to play Robert when he's 100%," Shanahan said. "When that ligament's fine, when the doctors feel there's no chance for injury that he can go out there and perform at that level in a game situation without injury, we're going to go with our starter."
The sprain was mild, and Griffin made a case for staying in the lineup when he moved well in practice late last week. Shanahan waited until Saturday night to announce that backup Kirk Cousins would make the start and said he's taking the doctors' advice. Griffin immediately made it known that he was unhappy with the decision.
The Cleveland Browns waived defensive back Dimitri Patterson, who signed a three-year, $16-million deal in the off-season with $6 million guaranteed. ... The Arizona Cardinals re-signed guard-center Mike Gibson and released defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin. ... Buffalo Bills reserve linebacker Arthur Moats will miss the final two games of the season after hurting his ankle. ... Redskins tackle Jordan Black was suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. ... Rookie safety Winston Guy was reinstated from the suspended list by the Seattle Seahawks after missing the last four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.