The NFL game between the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday will be played despite transportation and...
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The NFL game between the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday will be played despite transportation and power issues and growing concerns for weary and heartbroken residents displaced and devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday and Christie assured him that the game would not divert any major resources from relief efforts.
Speaking at a news conference in Brick at the opening of a FEMA office, Christie said only a few state troopers are assigned to the game and it was really a decision for the NFL to make.
“If they are ready, absent any change in circumstances, (then) we should go ahead with the game on Sunday,” Christie said, adding that during a tour of storm damage in nearby Moonachie, no one asked him to postpone the game and a couple of Giants fans urged him not to do that.
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Giants coach Tom Coughlin always felt the game would take place, and believes his team will be ready to lift the spirits of the people of New Jersey and New York.
“I think the mission will be quite clear,” Coughlin said. “Trying to provide a few hours of enjoyment for so many that have been devastated. I think they’ll do a good job of that.”
The Steelers changed travel plans because the hotel they booked in New Jersey did not have power. The team will fly in Sunday morning and leave after the game.
Coughlin said the Steelers’ decision not to stay in a hotel overnight was “noble” because it will give space to those who lost their dwellings.
Saints’ Sproles hurt
METAIRIE, La. — As if the New Orleans Saints weren’t dealing with enough problems, now they’ll have to get by without one of the NFL’s most versatile players.
Running back and return specialist Darren Sproles underwent surgery for a broken hand and won’t be able to play Monday night when the Saints (2-5) take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sproles set an NFL record with 2,696 all-purpose yards last season.
• Chicago safety Chris Conte has been fined $21,000 by the NFL for striking Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell in the head and neck area when LaFell was defenseless.
Conte made the hit in Chicago’s 23-22 win over Carolina last Sunday. Conte has appealed.
Fined $15,750 were Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour, New York Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty, New York Jets linebacker Marcus Dowtin and Tennessee defensive tackle Mike Martin.
• Cleveland defensive tackle Phil Taylor was activated from the physically unable to perform list and will play Sunday against Baltimore. Taylor made 16 starts as a rookie in 2011, making 59 tackles and four sacks.
• Detroit announced that running back Jahvid Best would stay on the physically unable to perform list for the season after not playing in more than a year because of concussion problems.
• Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill (knee, thigh) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis, and coach Joe Philbin says there’s no timetable for a decision on whether he’ll play.
If Tannehill doesn’t start, he would be replaced by Matt Moore.
• Pittsburgh running back Jonathan Dwyer might not get a chance at a third straight 100-yard game against the New York Giants. Dwyer is listed as doubtful with a right quad strain.
• Buffalo coach Chan Gailey’s job is secure, though quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick should expect to face a challenge for the starting job next season.
That was the assessment general manager Buddy Nix provided as the Bills (3-4) come out of their bye week to play at Houston (6-1).