Titans, T-Rac go unpunished
Thursday, August 17, 2006
By Jimmy Smith
JACKSON, MISS. -- The NFL will take no disciplinary action against the Tennessee Titans or their raccoon-costumed mascot for a golf cart accident that injured Saints reserve quarterback Adrian McPherson at halftime of last week's exhibition game in Nashville.
The cart, being driven by T-Rac, the Titans' mascot, slammed into McPherson just before the start of the second half as McPherson was attempting to field a punt during warmup drills.
McPherson suffered a deep bruise on his right knee cap and has been unable to practice since.
The league's football operations department investigated the mishap but deemed no punishment was necessary for either the team or the mascot.
"Ray Anderson (the NFL's senior vice president of football operations) sent a memo to all the clubs this week reminding of the policy in place relating to mascots, that mascots must stay behind the six-foot white border (surrounding the football field) at all times," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday.
"Also, that mascots are prohibited in engaging in taunting any players, coaches or game officials."
Aiello said that this is the first time that any team's mascot had been involved in such an incident.
"The clubs were reminded, and also put on notice, that the teams employing mascots that violate the rules are subject to fines going forward," Aiello said.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Monday he felt there was a need to better define the field of play so that athletes remain safe.
McPherson estimates he could be out for up to two weeks. He has done only conditioning work since returning to camp.