NFL notebook

Notes: Browns’ Scott Fujita blasts Roger Goodell

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita accused Roger Goodell of abusing his power as commissioner for his handling of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty case.

Fujita also criticized the NFL’s recent record on player safety.

Fujita, who had his three-game suspension reduced to one on Tuesday by Goodell, released a statement Wednesday in which he expressed being most angered with a letter he received from Goodell after his suspension was reduced.


Before practicing Wednesday, Fujita said in the statement that he’s pleased Goodell acknowledged he never participated in the Saints’ pay-for-hits program, but did not like the content of the letter.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Goodell wrote to Fujita that he was ‘‘surprised and disappointed by the fact that you, a former defensive captain and a passionate advocate for player safety, ignored such a program and permitted it to continue. If you had spoken up, perhaps other players would have refused to participate and the consequences with which we are now dealing could have been avoided.’’

Fujita, who met with Goodell Sept. 28 in New York, was most bothered that Goodell’s ‘‘condescending tone used in his redetermination letter was neither accurate nor productive.’’

Fujita went on, ‘‘Additionally, I am now purportedly being suspended for failing to confront my former defensive coordinator for his inappropriate use of language. This seems like an extremely desperate attempt to punish me. I also think it sets a dangerous precedent when players can be disciplined for not challenging the behavior of their superiors. This is an absolute abuse of the power that’s been afforded to the Commissioner.’’

Fujita has not said if he will appeal his one-game suspension. The Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Griffin practices


Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III practiced and showed no effects from a mild concussion. Barring any unexpected setbacks, Griffin will start Sunday against the visiting Vikings . . . Packers running back Cedric Benson (sprained left foot) was placed on injured reserve, but designated to return. He must sit out eight games before he can return, though he’s eligible to practice after six weeks . . . Bills defensive end Mark Anderson will have surgery on his left knee and will be out indefinitely . . . Panthers center Ryan Kalil is out for the season after suffering a left foot injury in Sunday’s loss to Seattle . . . Jaguars safety Dwight Lowery will be sidelined for ‘‘a few weeks’’ because of an injured left foot, according to coach Mike Mularkey . . . The Jets placed linebacker Josh Mauga on season-ending injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle, and signed veteran defensive lineman Daniel Muir . . . Colts running back Donald Brown had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee and will miss 2-3 weeks . . . The Texans signed linebacker Barrett Ruud, who was cut by the Saints Monday.

Karras dies at 77

Alex Karras, the rugged lineman who anchored the Lions’ defense in the 1960s, then went on to an acting career in which he starred in the sitcom ‘‘Webster’’ and famously punched a horse in the 1974 comedy ‘‘Blazing Saddles,’’ died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 77. Karras had recently suffered kidney failure. Obituary, B14 . . . Chiefs backup quarterback Brady Quinn is preparing to start his first game since the 2009 season against Tampa Bay Sunday. Coach Romeo Crennel said Matt Cassel (concussion) has not been cleared to play by medical staff and that Quinn would be taking snaps with the first team in practice. Ricky Stanzi would serve as the backup . . . Jets owner Woody Johnson said backup quarterback Tim Tebow will ‘‘be with us for three years’’ during an interview on CNBC. Despite speculation that the Jets could try to trade Tebow after this season, his first in New York, Johnson said the team will ‘‘absolutely’’ keep him for the duration of his contract.