Vikings receiver accuses Bears of dirty play

Originally Published: October 1, 2004
Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings: Randy Moss was fined $5,000 by the NFL for his role in a scuffle during last Sunday's game between the Vikings and Chicago Bears.

The league informed the Vikings on Friday about the fine against the star receiver, team spokesman Bob Hagan said Saturday.

Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, said he and his client had not received official notice from the league but would file an appeal when they do.

"It just seems to me like if anybody got fined it should have been the player with the illegal hit," DiTrapano said. "Players protect their teammates, and I think that's all Randy was doing."

The confrontation started after Bears safety Todd Johnson hit receiver Nate Burleson hard and late during a fourth-quarter incompletion. Johnson drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness because he appeared to lower his shoulder into Burleson's head.

Burleson didn't object to the hit at the time but Moss ran up to Johnson after the play. That touched off a shoving match between several players on both teams, and postgame accusations from Moss of dirty play, which Bears coach Lovie Smith disputed.

New England Patriots: Wide receiver Deion Branch and offensive tackle Adrian Klemm did not travel with the team for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills and will not play.

Branch, who has a knee injury, was previously listed as doubtful in the team's injury report. He was injured in the Patriots' last game, a 23-12 win at Arizona on Sept. 19.

Klemm, who an injured foot, was previously listed as questionable.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Linebacker Kendrell Bell will miss a fourth consecutive game Sunday because of a sore groin.

Bell, considered a key to the defense before the season, hasn't played since an Aug. 14 exhibition game against Detroit, first because of an injured shoulder and now the groin.

Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher said this week that he thought Bell was making progress, but Bell has since been downgraded from questionable to out for Sunday's home game against the Bengals.

Bell is trying to avoid what happened in 2002, when he sprained an ankle during training camp, reinjured it in the opener and was never healthy again the rest of the season.

Bell, the 2001 NFL defensive rookie of the year and a Pro Bowl alternate last season, will be replaced again by Larry Foote. Foote is third on the team with 17 tackles.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins signed wide receiver Ronald Bellamy off their practice squad Saturday and waived fullback Doug Easlick.

Easlick has one catch for 4 yards this season for Miami (0-3).

Bellamy had six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown in the preseason for the Dolphins.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos waived wide receiver Charlie Adams on Saturday and activated defensive tackle Ellis Johnson, who joined the team last month in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.

Johnson led all NFL interior linemen last year with eight sacks while with Atlanta. The nine-year veteran held out of the Falcons' training camp this season.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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