FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sal Alosi tripped up when he told the Jets his side of the story. Now, the assistant coach could be looking to save his job.
Alosi, New York's strength and conditioning coach, was suspended indefinitely by the team Wednesday after he acknowledged that he told five inactive players to stand next to each other for a punt return, during which he tripped a Dolphins player.
"As we continued our investigation, we discovered some new information," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said, "and the players at the Miami game were instructed by Sal to stand where they were to force the gunner in the game to run around them."
That was information Alosi did not initially volunteer Monday, according to Tannenbaum. The team suspended Alosi for the season without pay and fined him an additional $25,000 after he stuck out a knee and tripped Miami's Nolan Carroll, who was covering a punt.
Tannenbaum added that the NFL was looking into the incident, and he did not rule out the possibility that Alosi will be fired.
During a news conference Monday, Alosi called the tripping of Carroll "inexcusable and irresponsible," and later apologized to Carroll and Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.
Tight end Jeff Cumberland, who was inactive Sunday, said it was nothing new for the players to line up next to each other as they did against the Dolphins.
"Since the beginning of the year, we've been instructed to line up behind the (white) line," he said, adding that it was only Alosi who told them to do so.
Coach Rex Ryan and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff both denied they ordered anyone to do what Alosi told the players.
More Jets: Struggling quarterback Mark Sanchez is trying not to let his recent poor play affect his confidence. "It's a tough business. You've got to be thick-skinned." … Safety Eric Smith will not play at Pittsburgh because of a concussion.
Vikings prepping field: Workers attacked the snowdrifts covering the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium in a determined push to have it ready to replace the snow-damaged Metrodome for next week's matchup between the Vikings and Bears. NFL officials toured TCF Bank Stadium and have two concerns: whether all the snow can be removed in time and whether the frozen field could be softened via warming chemicals.
More Vikings: Still unsettled at quarterback after the shoulder injury to Brett Favre and a turf toe injury to Tavaris Jackson, the team signed veteran free agent Patrick Ramsey, who has not played since 2008. Rookie Joe Webb is still likely to start this week.
Ruling on Favre soon? Commissioner Roger Goodell is close to announcing whether the league will punish Favre for sending inappropriate photos and phone messages to Jenn Sterger, the Gaither High grad and former game hostess, in 2008 when both were with the Jets. Goodell said he received the NFL's report last week. Asked if a decision would come by the end of the season, he said, "I expect that, yes."
Labor Hopes: Goodell said a new labor agreement could be in place by the Super Bowl "if we all commit to it and work hard at it."
Broncos: Quarterback Kyle Orton, who has played poorly the past two weeks, says his bruised ribs are sore but he is not injured. Interim coach Eric Studesville reiterated that he's sticking with Orton over Tim Tebow as starter.
Chiefs: Quarterback Matt Cassel practiced some, but whether he will start vs. the Rams remained uncertain. Cassel had an emergency appendectomy last week, and Brodie Croyle struggled in a 31-0 loss.
Giants: Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith is out for the season after injuring cartilage in his left knee that will require surgery. Smith was hurt when he was tackled from behind. So now Eli Manning's top targets are Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.
Lions: Offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (knee) and cornerback Brandon McDonald (broken arm) were put on season-ending injured reserve, and linebacker Caleb Campbell was activated to play at Tampa Bay.
Packers: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (concussion) hasn't even been cleared to attend meetings or watch game video. Also, defensive end Cullen Jenkins (calf) will miss his second straight game.
Texans: Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams was put on injured reserve and will have season-ending hernia surgery.