Marvin Lewis issues another apology for Johnny Manziel comments
The Bengals also made a few key roster moves, Rex Ryan is not waving the white flag in New York, and other notes in our roundup of Tuesday’s NFL news.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis issued a second apology on Tuesday after calling Johnny Manziel a “midget” on Monday night. He made the comment on a radio interview Monday, then later in the evening offered up an initial apology to Manziel for the insensitive remarks.
However, he stopped short of acknowledging that he might have offended those individuals who suffer from dwarfism. Lewis tried to rectify the situation Tuesday when he made another apology that was more expansive and directed towards those who found his choice of words disturbing. Here is the full statement from Lewis:
“I’m aware that my comment on local radio last night was offensive to people of short stature and to their families and friends. It was thoughtless on my part to use the word I did, and not excusable, and I greatly regret it. I since have read about this issue on the Little People of America website. I understand it better, and as I have apologized to Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns community, I offer the same to all others who I offended, and I pledge that I will learn from this. I hope that my mistake and the resultant publicity may serve at least to help others not make similar insensitive comments in the future.”
Burfict to IR
The Bengals made a few roster moves on Tuesday, placing linebacker Vontaze Burfict on the season-ending injured reserve list and activating quarterback AJ McCarron from the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Burfict, the team’s leading tackler in 2012 and 2013, had minor knee surgery in Week 11 that was expected to sideline him for just a few weeks, but apparently the rehab was significant enough that it forced the end of his season. Burfict, who also missed time earlier this year due to concussions, had 29 tackles in five games this season.
McCarron was cleared to practice on Nov. 18 after a shoulder injury sidelined him during training camp and much of the early regular season. He was a fifth-round pick by the Bengals in the 2014 NFL Draft after four successful seasons at Alabama.
L.A. move not on owners’ agenda
The NFL owners will meet in Dallas on Wednesday, but the topic of placing a potential franchise in Los Angeles is not on the agenda, per NFL Media Insider Albert Breer. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the idea won’t be discussed during the talks, but it does mean that there will not be a vote on the issue. A source also told Breer that a decision on L.A. will not happen before January, and that the league will be heavily involved in any such negotiations.
In October at the annual Fall League meeting, it was reported that owners were presented with six potential sites for an L.A. stadium, but nothing was decided up at that time. It appears that having a stadium site and proper financing in place are the keys to nailing down whether the league returns to the Los Angeles area.
Rex Ryan not giving up
The New York Jets are enduring one of the worst seasons in franchise history and head coach Rex Ryan is likely headed to the unemployment line this winter, but he’s not ready to wave the white flag just yet. After a reporter mentioned to Ryan that he sounded like he knew his time in the Big Apple was coming to a close, the head coach immediately got defensive and stood his ground:
“I’m not conceding anything, man. I’m not going anywhere. I know I’ve got three weeks, and here we come.”
Ryan is 44-49 in six seasons as the Jets coach, but hasn’t led the team to a winning season or the playoffs since going 11-5 in 2010. The Jets are 2-11 this year and tied for the worst record in the league.
Niners activate Bowman
The San Francisco 49ers announced Tuesday that linebacker NaVorro Bowman has been activated to the 53-man roster after he spent the past several months recovering from a serious knee injury suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in last season’s NFC Championship Game.
Bowman, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee against Seattle in January, has not practiced since he was taken off the physically unable to perform list three weeks ago. Tuesday was the deadline for the 49ers to either promote him to the active roster so that he would be eligible to play this season, or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
However, moving Bowman to the 53-man roster doesn’t necessarily mean that he will return to the practice field soon. Rather it was likely a decision made by the 49ers to ensure that they could have him available to contribute if the team makes the playoffs. The three-time All-Pro linebacker started every game for the 49ers from 2011-13 and was the team’s leading tackler in each of those three seasons as well.