Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Panthers spur NFL memo: No bats allowed on field

The Panthers’ Bene Benwikere swings the bat the players had been taking onto the field before games as a motivational tool.

Associated Press

The Panthers’ Bene Benwikere swings the bat the players had been taking onto the field before games as a motivational tool.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the end, Panthers coach Ron Rivera didn't have a choice about whether his players could continue to take baseball bats on the field before games.

The NFL on Tuesday sent a memo all 32 teams reminding them that "no foreign objects unrelated to the uniform or playing equipment are permitted on the playing field and sidelines on game day," spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to the Associated Press.

The Panthers' baseball bat, which they say is a motivational prop, has garnered much attention in the fallout of Sunday's win against the Giants, mainly because of confrontations involving New York wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Carolina cornerback Josh Norman. Beckham was assessed three personal four penalties in the game and Monday was suspended for Sunday's game against the Vikings for his behavior. He has appealed.

Rivera said earlier Tuesday the Panthers had done nothing wrong but he had decided to ban the bat "because I'm going to hear it if I don't. … It's the No Fun League for a reason."

Rivera didn't say if he had received a league memo.

Rivera also said he was upset about what he called untrue reports that some of his players had taunted Beckham with physical threats and homophobic slurs before the game. Rivera said the Panthers wouldn't stand for that and the team found no evidence it had occurred.

Neither the Giants nor Beckham had accused the Panthers of that kind of taunting.

Beckham appeal set: Odell Beckham's appeal of his suspension will be heard by former Redskins and Eagles wideout James Thrash, the league said. The hearing is at noon today, ESPN reported. Thrash and Bucs Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks are the hearing officers jointly appointed by the NFL and the players association.

Brain study controversy: An ESPN report that said the NFL is withholding funding of a study of brain trauma and football touched off controversy when the league called it "not accurate."

ESPN's Outside the Lines said the league "backed out" of the planned seven-year, $16 million research project to attempt to diagnose in living patients chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits in contact sports that has been found in several former players after their deaths. The study was to have been funded by a $30 million grant the NFL made to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2012. Instead, the NIH will fund the study itself, it said Tuesday.

ESPN said the NFL didn't want its money used because the study involves Boston University researchers who have been critical of it and the way it has handled concussions. The NFL influenced the foundation administering the funds, ESPN said.

The NFL said its grant was still available and the NIH decided to not use the money, which the NIH confirmed, noting its intent to use the grant on a different project.

Jets: Receiver Joe Anderson was signed to the practice squad and practiced, about six weeks after he stood outside the Texans' stadium for a few days with a sign asking for an NFL job.

Patriots: Veteran free agent running back Steven Jackson, 32, signed. He hasn't played an NFL game all season. Jackson helps to bolster a depleted backfield after season-ending injuries to LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis.

Saints: Quarterback Drew Brees tore the plantar fascia in his right foot in Monday night's loss to the Lions but hopes to play in the final two regular-season games, ESPN reported.

Panthers spur NFL memo: No bats allowed on field 12/22/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.