Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Tomlin contrite over sidestep

PITTSBURGH — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has plenty of words to describe his ill-timed foray onto the field last week against Baltimore.

"Intentional" is not one of them.

Tomlin apologized at length Tuesday for nearly interfering with Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones in the third quarter of Baltimore's 22-20 victory on Thursday night, calling it "embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal, a blunder."

One that is likely to haunt Tomlin and take a pretty decent bite out of his wallet.

"There are repercussions of a blunder of that nature and I embrace it," he said. "With my position comes the charge of preserving and protecting the game of football. … I think my biggest error on Thursday night is not realizing that play jeopardized the game from an integrity standpoint."

As Jones raced down the Steelers sideline, Tomlin didn't move even as Jones closed in — mostly, he said, because he was "mesmerized" by what was happening on the scoreboard screen which Tomlin was facing.

"I saw myself come into the Jumbotron, it's a frightening experience," Tomlin said.

Tomlin actually stepped onto the field with his right foot before jumping out of the way as Jones veered right to avoid a collision. Cortez Allen tackled Jones a split second later, perhaps saving a touchdown.

The 41-year-old coach was not flagged on the play, and he pointed out after the game that standing in the white area of the sideline was common for coaches even if it was technically against the rules.

Still, Tomlin said he had no plans to fight whatever disciplinary action the league decides to hand out.

Ex-Chiefs sue: Five former Chiefs who were on the team between 1987 and '93 filed a lawsuit claiming the team hid and even lied about the risks of head injuries during that time period, when the league had no bargaining agreement. The lawsuit was filed in Jackson County (Mo.) Circuit Court on behalf of Leonard Griffin, Chris Martin, Joe Phillips, Alexander Louis Cooper and Kevin Porter, all of whom played on defense. It seeks more than $15,000 in actual and punitive damages.

New sport: The Colts promoted linebacker Daniel Adongo, 24, a former rugby star from Kenya who had never played football until joining the team's practice squad this fall, to the active roster. He could play Sunday at Cincinnati.

BROWNS: Quarterback Caleb Hanie signed and might start Sunday at New England. With Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell recovering from concussions, the team was left with Alex Tanney, who hasn't taken a snap in an NFL game.

LIONS: Linebacker Travis Lewis was suspended for the final four games of the regular season for violating league policy on performance-enhancing substances.

PACKERS: The team isn't ruling out Aaron Rodgers (broken collarbone) for Sunday's game against the Falcons, though the star quarterback hasn't been medically cleared. Coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers will practice today in a limited fashion but that Matt Flynn would take the snaps with the starters.

SAINTS: The team was forced to stay overnight in Seattle because its charter flight was delayed after a loss to the Seahawks. The Saints didn't get back to New Orleans until after 3 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 12 hours late. Team officials did not specify what caused the delay.

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