NEW YORK — NFL owners will meet Wednesday to discuss the league’s personal conduct policy, vote on the sale of the Buffalo Bills and look at further international play.
These are critical meetings for the owners, with Commissioner Roger Goodell under fire for his handling of the Ray Rice case, and with several high-profile player arrests involving domestic abuse. Although the owners have supported Goodell remaining in the job, they also have been embarrassed by loud criticism of the league’s recent missteps.
The discussion of social responsibility and the personal conduct policy initiatives will overshadow approval of the purchase of the Bills by Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula.
Owners will be updated on the Los Angeles stadium situation; TV ratings, attendance and fan interest. They also will receive reports on the league’s games in London — three this year for the first time, with two still to come. The NFL has an eye on adding more London games, perhaps as soon as next season.
But the spotlight will be on steps the NFL is taking to educate everyone in the league on domestic violence and sexual assault and abuse. The owners will view a short video, and then will see about a 40-minute presentation by the league’s player engagement department about educating everyone in the NFL on the subjects.
PETERSON PLANS TO PLEAD NOT GUILTY: In Houston, a spokeswoman for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s attorney said Tuesday the NFL player plans to plead not guilty to a child abuse charge during his first court appearance in Texas since his indictment last month.
Peterson was scheduled to be in court Wednesday in Conroe, located north of Houston. Mary Flood, a spokeswoman for Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said that if asked at the hearing, Peterson will plead not guilty to a charge of injury to a child.
Peterson has said he never intended to harm his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch earlier this year. Prosecutor Phil Grant declined to comment Tuesday on whether the case could be settled without a trial. If convicted, Peterson faces up to two years in prison.
RB BALL WILL MISS SEVERAL WEEKS: Second-year running back Montee Ball got off to a slow start this season after missing much of training camp following an emergency appendectomy. Now, he’s going to miss several weeks with a torn right groin.
Ball was injured Sunday when he accidentally did the splits while going out for a possible check-down pass in Denver’s 41-20 win over Arizona. Emmanuel Sanders caught a 20-yard pass on the play.
Around the league
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater returned to practice Tuesday after missing last Thursday’s loss to the Packers with a sprained left ankle, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. ... Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson, a former Saints player, is practicing with the team as usual following his weekend arrest on trespassing and disorderly conduct charges. ... The Bengals placed second-year linebacker Sean Porter on the injured reserve list, two days after he tore a ligament in his right knee during a loss at New England.