Suggs: No Bounties
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs has issued a statement through the team saying he "misspoke" when he said during a recent radio interview that the Ravens had put bounties on Pittsburgh Steelers rookie tailback Rashard Mendenhall and wide receiver Hines Ward during a game this season.
Suggs said in the written statement that the Ravens don't put bounties--financial rewards for hits that injure opposing players--on opponents during games.
Suggs's comments in the radio interview prompted an ongoing investigation by the league.
Mendenhall suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the game, won by the Steelers in overtime in Pittsburgh, on an apparently clean hit by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
Lewis was not penalized or fined for the hit.
Ward was unhurt in the game.
Suggs said in the written statement:
"I've got to set the record straight about what I said about so-called bounties. I tried to explain this on Wednesday, but it keeps coming back up.
"We, the players, don't pay each other to take another player out of the game. And you know coaches don't do that. As I said before, we prepare to stop the other team's best players every week. Those are the players who can beat you with big plays. For example, we've focused all this week on stopping the Raiders' running backs. We've focused on them in practice and in meetings. They are marked men by our defense--we have to know where they are on every play, and we can't let them get rolling on Sunday.
"When I did the radio show in Atlanta, that's what I meant and I thought that's what I said. I did repeat the word bounty early in the interview after the guy asking me the question used the word. That was a mistake. I misspoke, and I'm sorry for that.
"I hope that clears this up."
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