KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Marcus Peters chucked an official’s flag into the stands, stalked off the field wearing a smile, then ran back onto it without wearing socks when he realized he hadn’t been ejected.
Well, he won’t have to worry about socks on Sunday.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid suspended the volatile young cornerback for their game against Oakland after a series of antics that have humiliated not only Peters but the entire organization.
The latest came in last week’s loss to the New York Jets, when a late penalty was called and Peters picked up the flag and flung it into the stands . Peters proceeded to leave the field, assuming that he’d been kicked out of the game, and was evidently undressing when he realized his mistake.
So Peters ran back onto the sideline without wearing socks, only to watch the Chiefs’ last-ditch drive fall short in a 38-31 loss — their sixth in the last seven games.
“I’ve done a lot of thinking and come to the conclusion I’m going to suspend him for this game,” Reid said after Wednesday morning’s walkthrough. “I’m not going to get into detail on it. I did have the opportunity to talk to Marcus and some of the players, and I’ve got a good locker room. I fully trust them. We’ll be OK there. So that’s where I’m at.”
The team was informed of the suspension earlier Wednesday, and several players seemed to be trying to digest the news. Fellow cornerback Terrance Mitchell was asked whether a message had been sent to a team lacking discipline, and replied: “I’m not really sure.”
“You know, listen, nobody likes to lose, and when you’ve lost a few in a row sometimes funny things happen,” said quarterback Alex Smith, who typically acts as the team’s spokesman because few players are ever in the locker room when reporters are present.
“Coach made a decision and we’re going with it,” Smith said. “The stakes are too big right now with what we have in front of us. I think we have a good locker room, a mature locker room. Guys are going to handle it the right way. And we have to go as a team.”
Manning back as starter
Giants interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo has officially named Eli Manning as the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys.
Spagnuolo addressed the media for the first time as interim head coach at the team’s training facility in East Rutherford, N.J.
“Eli Manning will be the quarterback for this football team and this game,” Spagnuolo said.
Iloka’s suspension overturned
CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals safety George Iloka had his one-game suspension overturned on appeal Wednesday, leaving him with a $36,464.50 fine for his hit to Antonio Brown’s head on Monday night.
Iloka and Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster each got a one-game suspension from the NFL in the aftermath of Pittsburgh’s 23-20 win at Paul Brown Stadium. Iloka hit Brown in the head while trying to break up his game-tying touchdown catch.
Smith-Schuster was suspended for leveling linebacker Vontaze Burfict with a blindside hit and then taunting him by standing over him. Smith-Schuster has apologized for the taunting.
Olsen returns to practice
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen returned to practice and is expected to play against the Minnesota Vikings.
Carolina’s injury report indicates Olsen participated in all of the team’s practice on Wednesday.
Coach Ron Rivera says Olsen’s status will help offensive coordinator Mike Shula with game planning for Sunday’s game knowing “there’s not going to be a pitch count as far as the number of plays” when it comes to the tight end.
Olsen missed eight games while on injured reserve with a broken foot. He returned to action two weeks against the New York Jets but only played one quarter before leaving with soreness in his foot.
Taylor held out of practice
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor won’t practice Wednesday because of a bruised left knee, though coach Sean McDermott isn’t ready to rule him out from playing against Indianapolis this weekend.
McDermott is taking a day-at-a-time approach, saying there’s no timetable on when Taylor might practice. That leaves open the possibility of rookie Nathan Peterman making his second career start, his first since throwing five interceptions in the first half of a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 19.
Taylor suffered a bruised patellar tendon on the first play from scrimmage in a 23-3 loss to New England on Sunday. He continued playing but aggravated the injury early in the fourth quarter.
McDermott says starting cornerback Tre’Davious White will practice on a limited basis while remaining in the team’s concussion protocol. White was lying on the field when Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski dived and struck White in the back of the helmet.
Rams hold practice indoors
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams decided not to practice outdoors due to poor air quality around their training complex in Ventura County, where a wildfire has burned more than 100 square miles.
The Rams’ complex is about 25 miles from the blaze, but the resulting smoke caused enough problems in air quality Wednesday to persuade the Rams to skip practice in favor of a walk-through indoors at nearby Cal Lutheran University.
Coach Sean McVay says if the air quality is still poor Thursday, the Rams will practice at the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles.
The Rams (9-3) are preparing for an important showdown Sunday with the Philadelphia Eagles (10-2) at the Coliseum. The fires aren’t expected to affect the game.