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Packer says sorry for confronting fan

MILWAUKEE — The NFL is investigating a confrontation between Packers safety Nick Collins and a fan after Green Bay's loss Monday night to the Bears at Soldier Field.

Spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press the league is "in the process of reviewing all the facts" and Bears spokesman Scott Hagel said the team is doing the same thing.

"Right now, we're monitoring it," Hagel said.

Milwaukee's WITI-TV aired video in which Collins is seen yelling at a fan as he left the field. Collins then appears to throw his mouthpiece into the stands. According to the station's report, Collins said the fan spit on him and used a racial slur.

WITI said Collins apologized for "losing his cool."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he hadn't seen the video but had been briefed by the team's security department.

McCarthy said he understood the situation and that "I support Nick 100 percent," but he also said players would be wise to avoid such confrontations.

"You don't want to get into interaction, particularly with opposing fans," McCarthy said. "It is an emotional time, particularly after a game. I think it's something we can all learn from."

Collins, a safety selected to two straight Pro Bowls, might have been frustrated after being caught in the middle of two penalties that helped turn the game in the Bears' favor.

On the latter, with the score tied at 17 and the Bears driving in the final minutes, Collins intercepted a pass from Jay Cutler. But the play was wiped out by a pass interference penalty on rookie safety Morgan Burnett, putting the Bears in position to kick the winning field goal.

NFL, union talk about 18-game season

The NFL and its players union discussed a proposal to change to an 18-game regular season during a bargaining session.

The league and the NFL Players Association issued a joint statement, saying that negotiations "focused on several matters," including the longer regular season, a rookie wage scale and improvements for retired players. Tuesday's talks took place in Washington, where the NFLPA has its headquarters.

The collective bargaining agreement expires in March, and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has said he believes owners are preparing for a lockout.

League owners and commissioner Roger Goodell want to expand the regular season from 16. Goodell has pointed out that the league doesn't need the players' approval to extend the season.

BUCS MOVE: The Bucs promoted defensive end/tight end Erik Lorig from the practice squad to the active roster. The seventh-round pick out of Stanford takes the spot vacated by suspended safety Tanard Jackson, who will miss at least 12 months serving a league ban stemming from his latest violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Linebacker J.D. Folsom, a 2009 seventh-round pick of the Dolphins, joined the practice squad.

MONDAY TOPS 2010 RATINGS: The Bears-Packers game was the highest-rated cable telecast of the year. ESPN said the game had an estimated 17.5 million viewers, making it the fifth-most watched cable program ever — behind a Monday Night Football game from last season featuring the Packers against former quarterback Brett Favre. The network said Monday night's 12.5 rating (percentage of all TVs) was well over the season average of 10.9.

JAGS GRAB EX-BILLS QB: Showing how frustrated they are with quarterback David Garrard, the Jaguars claimed former Bills starter Trent Edwards off waivers. Edwards is expected to sign today, then practice. The Jaguars waived linebacker Alvin Bowen to make room for Edwards. Also, the Bills re-signed rookie quarterback Levi Brown.

JURISPRUDENCE: Mary Wong, a former financial adviser to Michael Vick and several other players, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $3 million from them in a Ponzi scheme. Wong is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20; she faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

OBITUARY: Don Doll, a standout defensive back who was part of Detroit's 1952 championship team and later coached the Lions, has died. He was 84. The Lions said Doll died Wednesday in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., but did not announce a cause.

EX-COWBOY RECOVERING: Hall of Fame offensive lineman Rayfield Wright is doing well after a heart attack, said a spokeswoman for the former Cowboy. Jeannette DeVader said Wright, 65, was released from a Fort Worth hospital Saturday, three days after a "moderate to severe heart attack."

CHARGERS: Outside linebacker Larry English had surgery on his foot and is expected to miss at least four weeks.

COLTS: Linebacker Kavell Conner had surgery on his fractured left foot and will miss at least one game.

GIANTS: Safety Michael Johnson (herniated disc, back) is out for the season. Defensive back Brian Jackson was promoted from the practice squad to take his place.

PANTHERS: Defensive tackle Louis Leonard was released.

SAINTS: Veteran kicker John Carney is returning to the team, according to his agent. Jack Mills said in an e-mail to AP that the 46-year-old would sign, just days after Garrett Hartley missed a 29-yard field goal in overtime.

SEAHAWKS: Former Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley signed along with offensive linemen Allen Barbre and Breno Giacomini. Running back Quinton Ganther and offensive linemen Mike Gibson and Mansfield Wrotto were released.

STEELERS: Charlie Batch, so far down the depth chart in training camp that he barely practiced, will start Sunday against Baltimore. Batch, 12-for-17 for three touchdowns in this week's win over the Bucs, hasn't started successive games since midway through 2005, when Ben Roethlisberger had a right knee injury. After the Ravens game, Roethlisberger will return from a league suspension.

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

Packer says sorry for confronting fan 09/28/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 12:35am]
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