NFL notes: Andrew Luck joins Colts teammates in shaving head to support Chuck Pagano
Andrew Luck has joined the shaved squad, too.
Nearly three dozen players on the Indianapolis Colts have shaved their heads in a show of support for head coach Chuck Pagano, who is undergoing treatment for a form of leukemia.
Luck became a new member of the no-hair club Wednesday morning. Players and coaches were not available for comment because they were headed to Jacksonville, but a team spokesman confirmed that Luck will indeed look quite different when he takes off his helmet Thursday night.
"Buzzed heads and orange locks in honor of Chuck," team owner Jim Irsay tweeted. He also included a link to a photo showing many of the players who had gotten buzzed.
Indianapolis (5-3) has gone to great lengths to give their ailing coach encouragement.
Reggie Wayne wore orange gloves against Green Bay, the ribbon color used to raise awareness for leukemia. Nameplates above player's lockers at the team complex now include orange stickers with Pagano's initials in the middle of Indy's trademark horseshoe. They sent Pagano a game ball after their surprising win over the Packers on Oct. 4. Irsay has placed signs reading #Chuckstrong in each end zone of Lucas Oil Stadium, and the team has been trying to raise money to support leukemia research.
Quinn tried to play through concussion
Brady Quinn had waited three years for another chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He wasn't going to let a concussion put him back on the sideline.
That's why the Chiefs quarterback admitted Wednesday to attempting to play through his second concussion of the season, which he believes happened when a defender's knee struck the back of his helmet in a game against the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 28.
Quinn remembers having vision problems after the blow, but decided to remain in the game, even though he was dazed enough to put on the wrong helmet on the sideline between possessions.
He never saw the Raiders' Rolando McClain while getting sacked later in the first quarter, perhaps augmenting the severity of the initial concussion, and recalled having "tunnel vision" and being unable to see the Oakland defensive backs when he threw an interception.
It was at that point Quinn was removed from the game.
"That's why I tried to stay in the game, because it was the first opportunity for me in a while," said Quinn, speaking for the first time since the injury. "I tried to play through it, and that's my fault for not being smart about it."
Quinn has already been ruled out for Kansas City's game Monday night at Pittsburgh. It will be the second straight game he's missed since becoming the starting quarterback.
Ravens LB approves of gay marriage vote
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was delighted to learn that the majority of Maryland voters shared his opinion on same sex marriage.
"I'm so stoked. It's like I woke up and it's Christmas," Ayanbadejo said Wednesday, one day after gay marriage in the state was approved at the ballot box by a narrow margin.
Baltimore's locker room reflects society, so not all of Ayanbadejo's teammates shared his enthusiasm about the historic decision.
"When it's all said and done, there are a lot of guys on this team that stand firmly behind what the Bible says that a man marries a woman and a woman marries a man," safety Bernard Pollard said.
The strong, opposite viewpoints have not divided the Ravens' locker room. While players on both sides are passionate about their stances, they haven't let their differences get in the way of the team's unified quest for a playoff berth.
The Ravens (6-2) host Oakland (3-5) on Sunday.
Before Tuesday, gays and lesbians had been granted the right to marry by courts and state legislatures, but proponents of gay marriage had been defeated in voting by more than 30 states.
The Ravens have continued their business-like approach to football during the political discourse, but their convictions about the issue run deep within the testosterone-filled environment.
Ayanbadejo spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage on several occasions prior to Maryland's vote on Question 6.
"It's something I've been passionate about a long time," he said. "Even though it doesn't affect me directly, it affects a lot of my friends. It affects my family. It affects Ravens fans. It affects Marylanders. I've worked very hard on it; I'm especially proud of the Marylanders who went out and voted and made a difference."
• Vikings punter Chris Kluwe says he dislikes politics and doesn't plan any more activism, following his high-profile efforts to encourage defeat of Minnesota's marriage amendment.
Voters narrowly rejected a proposal Tuesday to amend the state constitution by defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Fifth-one percent voted against the amendment.
Kluwe said Wednesday he's pleased by the outcome and hopes he helped. He also said he had "no inkling" he would become such a spokesman for the amendment opposition campaign. He said he simply says what's on his mind "and apparently a lot of people listened."
Kluwe says he received support from the Vikings about speaking out and staying focused on his job.
Chargers fined $20K for sticky-towels incident
The NFL has fined the San Diego Chargers $20,000 because it said a member of the equipment staff failed to immediately surrender towels when ordered to do so by a game official against the Denver Broncos on Oct. 15.
The NFL also said in a statement Wednesday that after investigating the Chargers' use of towels that included an adhesive substance, it was determined that San Diego did not violate any rules.
After consulting with the Competition Committee, the league said it has advised all clubs that the use of towels or other products that contain any type of adhesive substance is prohibited on game days until further notice.
Jaguars owner doesn't want 'knee-jerk reactions'
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan doesn't want to have any "knee-jerk reactions" to his team's losing ways.
The Jaguars (1-7) have dropped five in a row and are 0-4 at home this season heading into Thursday's game against Indianapolis.
Khan, who stayed in town for the short week, made it clear Wednesday that he won't make any changes before the end of the season.
He says the "most important thing is not to have knee-jerk reactions when things get tough not to add drama to uncertainty."
There had been speculation that Khan might fire general manager Gene Smith and maybe even coach Mike Mularkey, but the owner put that to rest.
He says it "will be something for me to reflect on at the end of the season."
Around the league
Packers • The promising rookie season of first-round pick Nick Perry is over after the linebacker had surgery to repair a wrist ligament and was placed on injured reserve.
Eagles • Right tackle Todd Herremans was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list after suffering a dislocated bone and ligament damage in his right foot in Monday's loss to New Orleans. He is the fourth Philadelphia lineman lost to injury this season.
Bears • Star cornerback Charles Tillman might miss Sunday's game against the Houston Texans because of the pending birth of his daughter. "The wife is due any day, so hopefully this baby can stay in until after the game on Sunday," Tillman told Chicago radio station WSCR-AM.
Dolphins • The team and owner Stephen Ross are donating $500,000 to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The Dolphins will also donate to the American Red Cross net proceeds from the sale of tickets for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans purchased beginning Thursday.
Week 10 schedule
• Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 6:20 p.m., NFL Network
• Atlanta at New Orleans,11 a.m.
• Detroit at Minnesota,11 a.m.
• Denver at Carolina, 11 a.m., Ch. 2
• San Diego at Tampa Bay,11 a.m.
• Tennessee at Miami, 11 a.m.
• Buffalo at New England,11 a.m.
• Oakland at Baltimore, 11 a.m.
• N.Y. Giants at Cincinnati,11 a.m., Ch. 13
• N.Y. Jets at Seattle, 2:05 p.m.
• St. Louis at San Francisco, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 13
• Dallas at Philadelphia,2:25 p.m.
• Houston at Chicago,6:20 p.m., Ch. 5
Open • Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Washington
• Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
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