Charlotte, N.C. — A frustrated Ron Rivera will no longer allow Panthers players to bring baseball bats on the field before games, even though he said they have done nothing wrong.
The Panthers coach is upset about what he said are untrue reports that some players taunted Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with physical threats and homophobic slurs before last weekend’s game.
Rivera said Tuesday the Panthers wouldn’t stand for that kind of behavior and the team found no evidence it occurred.
When asked if the Panthers hadn’t broken any league rules why he made the decision do away with taking the bat on the field, Rivera said, “because I’m going to hear it if I don’t.
“That’s the truth of the matter,” Rivera said. “So to avoid the situation and set of circumstances, let’s just eliminate it.
“So that’s what we’re going to do. Again, it’s the No Fun League for a reason.”
Neither Giants officials nor Beckham have released any statements accusing the Panthers of taunting the receiver before the game with physical harm or homophobic slurs.
The Panthers are 14-0. They can wrap up the No. 1 seed in the NFC on Sunday with a win or tie against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Patriots signed veteran free-agent running back Steven Jackson, who is 18th on the career list with 11,388 yards and has 68 rushing touchdowns.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played all season.
Jackson helps to bolster a depleted backfield after season-ending injuries to LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis.
Jackson was the 24th overall pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 2004 draft. In nine seasons in St. Louis, he became the franchise’s leading rusher with 10,138 yards and had 56 rushing touchdowns, two behind Marshall Faulk fo r most in Rams’ history.
... Saints quarterback Drew Brees has a torn plantar fascia in his right foot, a source told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Nevertheless, Brees hopes to continue playing in New Orleans’ final two games.
Brees was hurt in the second quarter of a 35-27 loss to the Lions Monday trying to escape pressure from Ziggy Ansah.
Thrash and Derrick Brooks are the hearing officers jointly appointed by the NFL and the players’ association.
... Beckham Jr. will have his appeal of his one-game suspension heard by former receiver James Thrash.
... The Packers signed Rick Lovato, a rookie from Old Dominion, to replace veteran long snapper Brett Goode, on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury.
... The Browns placed starting offensive guard John Greco on injured reserve (sprained MCL). Rookie Cam Erving likely steps in. They also re-signed rookie wide receiver Darius Jennings.