Report: Haynesworth to avoid suspension


Report: Haynesworth to avoid suspension

It appears as though the NFL thinks 160 hours of community service is enough punishment if one of its players pleads "no contest" to simple assault.

An NFL spokesperson said that the latest Albert Haynesworth incident, to which he pleaded no contest in Washington, D.C. Supreme Court on Monday, is under review by the league, but a league source told ESPN that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is not expected to hand down further discipline to the oft-maligned defensive tackle.

Bill Belichick was asked Tuesday if he had heard anything about a Haynesworth suspension, he said, "Whatever the league does, they'll announce."

Patriots players said Haynesworth was back at the team facility in Foxboro Tuesday.

If the league decides not to discipline Haynesworth, it might seriously irritate some Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, was suspended six games last season (eventually reduced to four) though he has never having been arrested. Haynesworth, on the other hand, has a lengthy rap sheet.

But, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio has some theories as to why Haynesworth may not be suspended.

From PFT:

The prosecutions case apparently had some holes. In fact, weve heard that the authorities were surprised that a grand jury even indicted Haynesworth in the first place.So if the league has utilized its security department to investigate the situation, the league possibly (key word: possibly) has concluded that, despite Haynesworths past issues, there isnt enough evidence to conclude that he did anything wrong in this case.Florio also suggests that the plea deal was a good PR move for both Haynesworth and the NFL, simply because it meant keeping the news of a trial out of the headlines for a few days. Dont discount the possibility that Haynesworths lawyers worked the back channels in order to get a feel for the theoretical impact of a no contest plea on Haynesworths employment. Though the league routinely refuses to provide any official information regarding the potential consequences of the outcome of a case, it would be naive to assume that hypothetical discussions dont happen especially if theres a way to handle a case in a manner that minimizes P.R. fallout.Here, Hayneworths decision to cop a plea avoided several days of media coverage of a trial of a high-profile NFL player. Given that personal conduct policy ultimately is aimed at protecting the shield, a players decision to handle his business in a way that advances that outcome should be welcomed by the league.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams


Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.