Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor has appealed the NFL's $25,000 fine for temporarily leaving a mandatory rookie symposium this month.
There is no time frame for a decision, but the league is expected to make one in several weeks. Taylor's fine was the highest levied against a rookie for leaving the four-day symposium. The league could have fined Taylor $50,000.
Meantime, Taylor's right knee, which he sprained Wednesday at his first practice since a mini-camp in June, appears to have improved slightly. Taylor was walking normally at Redskins Park yesterday, one day after limping because of the injury.
Taylor, whose MRI exam results showed no problems, still is considered day-to-day. Trainers will check on the knee tomorrow before deciding whether to clear him for the first day of training camp. Taylor has been receiving treatment twice a day.
"He didn't have much soreness today, so we'll see," said Vinnie Cerrato, the team's vice president for football operations. "If he can go, he'll go."
Kick Back, Relax
Rookie safety Dennard Wilson, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury during Wednesday's practice, was ensconced in a leather-upholstered chair at Redskins Park yesterday while watching NFL Network. Nearby, cornerback Ade Jimoh played a football video game on one of several flat screen televisions. Despite a players' day off, Jimoh and Wilson couldn't resist hanging out in the plush new players' lounge.
The lounge, which was Coach Joe Gibbs's idea, highlights widespread improvements at the team's practice facility in Ashburn that cost owner Daniel Snyder several million dollars, according to Redskins officials. The Redskins have refurbished two fields, built a sound-proof room for television broadcasters, significantly expanded the weightlifting room and added a racquetball court.
Gibbs "asked Mr. Snyder, 'Is there any way we can get a room for the players to kind of hang out? Just a room,' " Cerrato said as he stood in the kitchen area. "Mr. Snyder does everything first-class, so this is the room that was built. It's like four different living rooms with different things."
Cerrato led a tour of the facility for several reporters. Pictures of former players, including quarterback Joe Theismann and running back Stephen Davis, and of current players, including Patrick Ramsey raising his hands to signal a touchdown, dot the walls.
The lounge idea emerged after coaches realized there was no common area, besides the locker room, for players to mingle. The lounge, which seats about 30, is off limits to everyone except players and coaches. Snyder approved the move in late April, construction started May 3 and was completed last Friday.
One area essentially is a video room, with three Xbox consoles attached to flat-screen televisions. Another area awaits the arrival of several laptop computers.
"They wanted a place where the players would feel comfortable coming," Cerrato said. "What you want to be able to do is develop camaraderie, and what better way to develop camaraderie than to have a nice place where players want to stay and hang out? I'm sure in between practices this will be very well-used."
Staff writer Jason La Canfora contributed to this report.