Bucs CB Aqib Talib attended Bucs game in violation of his suspension
Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib violated the terms of his one game suspension by attending the Bucs 17-14 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday.
Talib, who was serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL's player conduct policy, watched Sunday's game from a private suite at Raymond James Stadium.
As part of his suspension, Talib was told to stay away from the team, including the training facility, and avoid conversations with players and coaches.
"Suspended players cannot attend games, even as a spectator,'' said Greg Aiello, the NFL's director of communications. "We are looking into it.''
Talib apparently believed he could attend the game as long as he did not visit the field or locker room. He even signed autographs for some fans seated near the suite.
When asked on Wednesday by the Times where he watched Sunday's game, Talib said he watched it on television at home. But the Bucs-Browns game was subject to the NFL's blackout rule within a 75-mile radius of the Tampa Bay region because it wasn't a sellout.
"I watched the game from the TV at the house, man,'' Talib said Wednesday.
When asked to clarify after practice Wednesday, Talib indicated he watched the game from his family's home near in Dallas.
Talib could face an additional fine from the league -- at the very least -- for violating the terms of his suspension by attending Sunday's game. The Bucs also could face sanctions. Team officials said they were unaware that Talib attended Sunday's game. Coach Raheem Morris said he received a text from Talib shortly after the game and later a phone call.
"He was the first person to call me after the game,'' Morris said. "He was all fired up, he was jacked up for what his team was able to do.''
A first-round pick from Kansas in 2008, Talib was suspended one game on Aug. 31 by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He also was ordered to forfeit two game checks, a total of $177,187 in league fines.
The suspension stemmed from his arrest in Aug., 2009 for assaulting a cab driver. He was entered into a pretrial diversion program and ordered to attend anger management classes.
"Since last fall, Aqib has done all that's been asked of him and more, on and especially off the field,'' Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said in a statement at the time of his suspension. "We look forward to his return to the field in Week 2.''
Talib was activated from the suspended list on Tuesday. To make room for Talib, the Bucs released rookie defensive end Erik Lorig, who was re-signed to the practice squad Thursday.
The Bucs play the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday and Talib is expected to play.