LENEXA, Kan. — Tamba Hali fled Liberia when it was in the midst of a bloody civil war. Now that the West African nation is at the center of a very different crisis — an outbreak of Ebola — the Chiefs linebacker is supporting a humanitarian relief effort.
Tuesday, Hali joined officials from Heart to Heart International, based in suburban Kansas City, to announce the construction of a clinic near the capital of Monrovia that will offer 70 beds for patients stricken by the virus. "People are dying," Hali said, "and they're dying at a rapid rate."
As of Friday, there had been 3,834 confirmed Ebola cases and 2,069 deaths in Liberia, according to the World Health Organization. Forty-four percent of those cases were reported in the past three weeks, a signal the infectious disease is spreading.
"The medical system is overwhelmed by the Ebola epidemic, and every doctor and health official said the biggest need is more Ebola treatment units," Heart to Heart founder Dr. Gary Morsch said.
No joy for jay Gruden: First-year Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he will look into the laughing and joking among some players after Monday's 27-17 loss to Seattle. "I'm hoping that nobody was jovial after a loss," he said. Offensive captain Trent Williams and receiver Pierre Garcon were among players contributing to a surprisingly light atmosphere in parts of the locker room. Gruden didn't see it — he was at his news conference — but got wind of it.
Peterson plea: Suspended Vikings running back Adrian Peterson plans to plead not guilty to a child abuse charge today at his first court appearance, near Houston, since his indictment last month. Mary Flood, a spokeswoman for his attorney, Rusty Hardin, said that if asked, Peterson will plead not guilty to a charge of injury to a child. Peterson has said he never intended to harm his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch this year. The team placed Peterson on paid leave.
More Vikings: Defensive tackle Tom Johnson practiced as usual following his weekend arrest on misdemeanor trespassing and disorderly conduct charges that his representatives said should be dismissed.
Owners meetings: Owners meet today in New York to discuss NFL personal conduct policy, vote on the sale of the Bills and look at further international play. The purchase of the Bills by Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula is considered certain, with three-quarters of the teams needing to vote in favor.
Broncos: Running back Montee Ball (torn right groin) will miss several weeks. He was hurt when he accidentally did the splits while going out for a possible check-down pass Sunday against Arizona.
Lions: They signed former Denver kicker Matt Prater. ESPN reported that Jesuit High graduate Jay Feeley and former Bucs kicker Connor Barth also tried out.
Saints: With Jimmy Graham nursing a shoulder injury, sustained Sunday against Tampa Bay, New Orleans signed former Bucs tight end Tom Crabtree.