Saints notes: Roger Goodell avoids Bountygate question

Associated Press photo by BILL HABER -- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton yells from the sideline during an Aug. 28 preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.

At his Friday news conference in New York, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell avoided a question comparing the fairness of his ruling in the Saints’ Bountygate scandal and the league office’s mishandling of the Ray Rice case. Two years ago, Goodell ruled that the Saints’ “ignorance” of the pay-to-injure saga was not a suitable defense.… Continue reading →

Mark Ingram, David Hawthorne among 4 Saints ruled out for Vikings game on Sunday

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs against the Cleveland Browns in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The 0-2 Saints ruled out four players for their home game Sunday against the Vikings on Friday. Running back Mark Ingram (fractured hand), linebacker David Hawthorne (ankle), safety Marcus Ball (hamstring) and fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) have been scratched. Lorig and Ball missed the Saints’ defeats at Atlanta on Sept. 7 and at Cleveland on Sept. 14… Continue reading →

NFL Commissioner Goodell promises sweeping personal conduct policy changes

FILE - in this March 26, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014:

NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl. At a news conference Friday, Goodell made his first public statements in more than a week about the rash of NFL players involved in domestic violence. He did not announce any specific changes, but said he has not considered resigning. "Unfortunately,… Continue reading →

Saints secondary vows to fix past issues

New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) breaks up a pass to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin in the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) ORG XMIT: CDS

After last week’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, a game that essentially ended on a defensive letdown, the members of the Saints secondary gathered to quietly discuss what happened and why they were in this situation. It wasn’t an unusual sight. On any given day, these guys can be viewed chatting together in the locker room, cracking… Continue reading →

Rafael Bush expecting bigger role against Vikings

Associated Press photo by SCOTT KANE -- Saints free safety Rafael Bush tries to drag down St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy during preseason action in St. Louis.

When the Saints matched a two-year, $4.5 million contract the Atlanta Falcons offered to Rafael Bush to prevent him from leaving in restricted free agency this offseason, virtually no one foresaw the New Orleans safety playing a paltry five defensive snaps come Week 2. But that’s exactly what happened with Bush in Sunday’s 26-24 Saints loss at Cleveland.… Continue reading →

Peterson’s absence tough but real for Vikings

Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (31) takes part in a drill during NFL football practice at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — NFL teams make succession plans all the time for star players moving past their prime. The sudden absence of Adrian Peterson from Minnesota’s backfield, though, did not reveal a carefully crafted blueprint. His hiatus, following a charge of child abuse against him in Texas, could hardly have been anticipated. The… Continue reading →

Mark Ingram's injury provides big break for Saints running back Khiry Robinson

New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Consider Sunday’s home opener Khiry Robinson’s latest opportunity to play Saints hero. With running back Mark Ingram out with a fractured hand, Robinson is expected to receive the biggest load of carries against Minnesota (1-1) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “When something like that happens, you have to be up and ready,” said Robinson, a… Continue reading →

The linebacker suffered the injury during Sunday’s loss against the Cleveland Browns. He was replaced on the field by Roman Humber.
Center Jonathan Goodwin, who is battling an elbow injury, was a limited participant in practice after missing Wednesday’s session.
Linebacker Kyle Knox (ankle) was a… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton talks with Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still for the first time

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints coach Sean Payton is all smiles Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, before the New Orleans Saints played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

One week after purchasing 100 Devon Still Cincinnati Bengals jerseys, Saints coach Sean Payton talked with the player for the first time on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show on Thursday. Payton purchased the jerseys last week in honor of Still’s daughter, Leah, who has Stage 4 pediatric cancer and is at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Bengals announced that all… Continue reading →

Even with Adrian Peterson out, Saints still focused on stopping Vikings’ run

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

From a pure football standpoint, one might think that the New Orleans Saints would be smiling over the fact that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will not be on the field for Sunday’s game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. One of the best running backs in football, as described by Saints coach Sean Payton,… Continue reading →

Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro to fans: ‘Ride with us’

Associated Press photo by DAVID GOLDMAN -- New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro warms up before the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 7.

Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro, a social media enthusiast, has witnessed online fan reaction to this season’s 0-2 start. From tweets to memes. Shares to posts. So on Wednesday afternoon, Vaccaro was asked if he had a message to deliver via the media to Saints fans. He recommended patience. “Ride with us,” said Vaccaro, a second-year pro.… Continue reading →

Saints are ready to make due without toughness of running back Mark Ingram in near future

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) runs against the Cleveland Browns in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Let no one ever question Mark Ingram’s toughness. After fracturing his left hand the third time he touched the ball in Sunday’s 26-24 defeat at Cleveland on Sunday, the New Orleans Saints running back had 11 more touches, gaining 90 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown before the game was finished. But the Saints (0-2)… Continue reading →

Falcons, Bucs eager to get back on field

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan walks off the field in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

ATLANTA — The short week came at a good time for the Atlanta Falcons. Ditto for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both teams are eager to get back on the field Thursday night after the way they played the last time out. The Falcons (1-1) were mauled at Cincinnati, losing 24-10 in a game… Continue reading →

Panthers remove Hardy from their active roster

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2013, file photo, Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy watches before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers announced Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, that they've placed Hardy on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, meaning the Pro Bowl defensive end has been removed from the team's active roster until his domestic violence case is resolved.  (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers finally made a decision on Greg Hardy: the Pro Bowl defensive end will not play anymore games for Carolina until his domestic violence case is resolved. The team removed Hardy from its active roster Wednesday, ending three weeks of indecision regarding his playing status. He played Week 1, sat out… Continue reading →

Saints' Jonathan Goodwin, David Hawthorne and Mark Ingram head list of players not practicing Wednesday

Associated Press photo by David RichardNew Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees hands off to running back Mark Ingram in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game.

Saints center Jonathan Goodwin, linebacker David Hawthorne, running back Mark Ingram, fullback Erik Lorig and safety Marcus Ball did not practice Wednesday, the first day of preparations for the 0-2 team's home game against Minnesota (1-1) on Sunday. Linebacker Curtis Lofton (shoulder) was limited.

Goodwin, Ingram, Hawthorne, Lorig and Ball missed team drills with elbow, hand, ankle, ankle… Continue reading →

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer loves Adrian Peterson but says it’s right he won’t play at Saints or indefinitely

Minneosta Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer speaks at a news conference at the team's training facility in Eden Prairie on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.  The Vikings announced Monday that running back Adrian Peterson will return to practice this week and play in Sunday's game at New Orleans despite having been indicted last week in Texas on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child.     (AP Photo/The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Scott Takushi)  MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE OUT

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer loves Adrian Peterson and feels for the star running back as he deals with the child abuse case pending against him, but he said Wednesday that his organization was right to deactivate the player for this Sunday’s game in New Orleans against the Saints. “I think he’s one of my guys,” Zimmer remarked… Continue reading →

About to face Saints and charged with child abuse, Adrian Peterson voluntarily left Vikings to resolve legal issues, NFLPA says

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

Days away from traveling to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to face the Saints, star Vikings running back Adrian Peterson decided to take voluntary leave with pay to resolve his “personal and legal issues,” the NFL Players union said in a statement Wednesday. The union said it worked with the NFL, Peterson and the Vikings to “resolve this unique… Continue reading →

Vikings bar running back Adrian Peterson from all team activities

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs for a 5-yard gain as St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long, right, defends during the first quarter an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas. The Vikings made the… Continue reading →

Minnesota Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list

Associated Press file photo by ANN HEISENFELT -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is in the middle of a firestorm after being charged with child abuse.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner’s permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges. The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the… Continue reading →

Morten Andersen, Sam Mills, Kevin Mawae among NFL Hall of Fame nominees

Former New Orleans Saints kicker Morten Andersen and Saints linebacker Sam Mills and former LSU offensive lineman Kevin Mawae were among the 113 Modern Era nominees released Tuesday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Other nominees included running back/kick returner/punt returner Brian Mitchell of Louisiana-Lafayette, New Orleans native and former Washington Redskins coach… Continue reading →

Hall of Fame nominees

Hall of Fame preliminary nominees for the class of 2015 By The Associated Press Results will be announced Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Note: x-.Finalist in 2014; y-First-year eligibles. Quarterbacks (4) Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Phil Simms, y-Kurt Warner. Wide Receivers (9) x-Tim Brown (also KR), y-Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard… Continue reading →

Sponsors step away as criticism mounts for Vikings, Adrian Peterson

This photo provided by the Montgomery County sheriffs office shows the booking photo of Adrian Peterson.  Peterson was indicted in Texas for using a branch to spank one of his sons and the Minnesota Vikings promptly benched him for their game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 against the New England Patriots. Peterson turned himself in early Saturday at a jail in Montgomery County, near Houston, where he has a home. He was processed and released.  (AP Photo/Montgomery County sheriffs office)

MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Peterson has been one of the most popular and marketable stars in the NFL, an approachable superstar with an inspirational comeback story that made him an endorser’s dream. Now that he is facing a felony charge of child abuse for spanking his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch, the Minnesota running back… Continue reading →

NFL Hall of Fame nominees

Hall of Fame preliminary nominees for the class of 2015. Results will be announced Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Note: x-.Finalist in 2014; y-First-year eligibles. Bold: have Saints or Louisiana ties. Quarterbacks (4) Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Phil Simms, y-Kurt Warner. Wide receivers (9) x-Tim Brown (also KR), y-Isaac Bruce, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard (also PR), x-Marvin Harrison, y-Torry Holt,… Continue reading →

Saints sign runing back Edwin Baker to practice squad and cut cornerback Trevin Wade

Cleveland Browns running back Edwin Baker is dragged down by Chicago Bears inside linebacker Jon Bostic Sunday in Cleveland. The Bears won 38-31. (AP Photo/David Richard)

After it was learned their leading rusher had a broken hand, the Saints both signed a running back to their practice squad and from it cut a cornerback on Tuesday. Running back Edwin Baker arrives after Mark Ingram (143 yards and three touchdowns off 24 carries this year) emerged from the Saints’ defeat Sunday at Cleveland with… Continue reading →

Notebook: Little things turn out big

Associated Press photo by Tony Dejak -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins runs after a catch against the Saints during the Bbrowns' 26-24 win Sunday in Cleveland. Hawkins, who had six catches for 70 yards, took advantage of miscommunication by the Saints to make a 28-yard reception late in the fourth quarter and set up the Browns' game-winning field goal.

Three teams have started 0-2 and gone on to win the Super Bowl. At this point, though, the Saints aren’t even thinking about joining Dallas from 1993, New England from 2001 and the New York Giants from 2007 in that category. They are looking at the small picture rather than the big picture, beginning with the little… Continue reading →

Vikings bring back Peterson despite abuse charge

Associated Press photo by Tom Gannam -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pulls past St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long for a 5-yard gain Sept. 7 in St. Louis. Peterson, who ran for 75 yards and caught two passes for another 18 in the Vikings 34-6 win, will return to the field Sunday against the Saints after being charged with child abuse.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have seen the details. They have seen photos of the injuries that Adrian Peterson’s 4-year-old son suffered at the hands of the star running back. They have a history of punishing players who have run into trouble with the law. The Vikings brought Peterson back to the team… Continue reading →

Saints sputter again, fall to 0-2 after 26-24 loss at Cleveland

Cleveland Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) sacks New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

CLEVELAND — The dunk no longer exists. After scoring a pair of touchdowns Sunday, Jimmy Graham tucked the ball under his arm, jogged to the sideline and tossed the ball to someone standing near the bench. The Saints’ performance Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium was similar to Graham’s new, subdued celebration. There were no thrills,… Continue reading →

Rabalais: After the Saints’ latest stunning loss, there’s no time like the present to turn this around

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham walks off the field after a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) ORG XMIT: CDS127 ORG XMIT: BAT1409141543403671

We interrupt the mudslide of appalling off-the-field NFL storylines to bring you the tale of the New Orleans Saints’ freefalling 0-2 start. And you thought Roger Goodell had problems. The NFL’s embattled commissioner only has issues with his image and with people calling for him to be ousted from his $44 million-a-year… Continue reading →

Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson roughed up

Associated Press photo by David Richard -- New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson interferes with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Taylor Gabriel on Sunday in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson knew what the questions were going to be about, but he agreed to listen to one anyway in the visitors’ locker room of Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium after New Orleans’ last-minute, 26-24 defeat, a loss that dropped the Saints to 0-2. Robinson’s afternoon saw him get beat on… Continue reading →