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NFL notes

Published September 25. 2012 4:00AM

NFL seeking to block Vilma's request for evidence

The NFL on Monday asked a federal judge to block Jonathan Vilma's demands for evidence in the league's bounty probe of the Saints, and a magistrate has ordered lawyers in the case to convene in New Orleans on Thursday to discuss the matter.

The league's latest move was to counter Vilma's attempt to initiate discovery in his defamation lawsuit against Roger Goodell, which alleges the commissioner lacked sufficient evidence when he publicly prejudged the Saints linebacker as the ring-leader of New Orleans' pay-for-injury bounty system.

The NFL's motion argues that discovery is premature because another motion to dismiss Vilma's lawsuit is still pending.

The league said Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, has this month subpoenaed the NFL, Goodell, NFL investigator Joe Hummel, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo.

Ginsberg has demanded documents and sought to schedule depositions, including a deposition of Goodell on Oct. 23.

Marshall fires back at Sapp for 'retard' comment

Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall criticized former NFL star Warren Sapp for calling him a "retard" in a radio interview.

That struck a chord with Marshall, who has acknowledged receiving treatment for borderline personality disorder and anger management, and he fired back Monday in an online video.

"I got a really disturbing heads-up on something Warren Sapp said, called me retarded. That's really disappointing to hear that from an NFL legend, but I'm going to take this as a lesson, and I think we all can learn from this," Marshall said in the video posted online. "Be very careful who you take advice from. You want to surround yourself with good people, godly people. When I look at Warren Sapp, I can't go to him and talk about finances because he filed for bankruptcy. I can't go to him and talk about my marriage because he filed for divorce. I can't go to him and talk about being a father because one day I'm going to have children, because he's not active in his children's life."

Marshall later posted on Twitter that he received an e-mail from Sapp asking "where and when" and that he assumed he was being challenged to a fight.

Raiders WR Heyward-Bey released from hospital

Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has been released from the hospital after being knocked out by a helmet-to-helmet hit.

The Raiders say Heyward-Bey went home Monday morning after spending the night in the hospital under observation. The team says he has a concussion and neck strain and is expected to make a full recovery.

Heyward-Bey was running across the end zone early in the fourth quarter of Oakland's 34-31 victory to catch a pass from Carson Palmer when Pittsburgh safety Ryan Mundy launched his body and lowered his helmet into Heyward-Bey's facemask.

Heyward-Bey's neck jerked violently and his head also crashed into the ground as he lost consciousness. The pass was incomplete. The replacement officials did not call a penalty on the play.

Lions mum on Stafford's leg

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn't saying much about quarterback Matthew Stafford's injured right leg.

Stafford left late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 44-41 overtime loss at Tennessee with a strained muscle, and although Shaun Hill played well in a relief role, the last thing the Lions want is a return to the days when their franchise quarterback wasn't able to stay healthy. Schwartz says he'll see how Stafford progresses through the week.

Stafford was banged up as a rookie and played only 10 games, and he was limited to three the following season because of problems with his throwing shoulder.

He finally made 16 starts last season, throwing for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Bush says he gets 'great news' after knee issue

Reggie Bush's knee problem may not be a major issue for the Miami Dolphins.

Bush tweeted on Monday that he "received some great news," one day after leaving the Dolphins' game against the New York Jets late in the first half with a left knee injury.

The Dolphins have not issued any official updates on Bush's status. They said he was "questionable" to return on Sunday after he departed with a pronounced limp.

Players were to be available to reporters later Monday afternoon.

Bush returned to the sideline for the second half and was riding a stationary bike for several minutes, but didn't play again. He finished with 61 yards on 10 carries, and the Dolphins lost to the Jets 23-20 in overtime.

Jets bring back Thomas, Turner

The New York Jets have re-signed linebacker Bryan Thomas and wide receiver Patrick Turner, and cut defensive lineman Marcus Dixon.

Thomas, the Jets' longest-tenured player, was surprisingly released Saturday to make room on the roster to elevate cornerback Donnie Fletcher from the practice squad in time for New York's game at Miami on Sunday.

Fletcher, inactive for the game, was also cut Monday, along with offensive tackle Dennis Landolt.

Thomas, the team's first-round pick in 2002, was "angry" when the team informed him of his release Saturday, but says he's OK now. He is coming off a hamstring injury, but says he should be ready to play Sunday against San Francisco.

Turner, a former college teammate of quarterback Mark Sanchez at Southern California, was waived on Sept. 11.

Jackson has chance to return against Pats

Fred Jackson to the rescue?

With Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller expected to miss at least a week with left shoulder injury, Jackson announced Monday he's 70 to 75 percent sure he'll be ready to return from a sprained right knee to play against New England on Sunday.

Jackson expects to practice on Wednesday for the first time since getting hurt in a season-opening loss at the New York Jets two weeks ago.

Coach Chan Gailey concurred with Jackson's prognosis after the player had a workout earlier in the day that went "extremely well." Gailey said he's "very optimistic" Jackson will play Sunday.

Jackson's return has the potential to provide a big boost to Buffalo's running attack after Spiller was hurt in a 24-14 win at Cleveland.

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