Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer agreed yesterday to stop wearing a decal on his helmet as a tribute to Pat Tillman, his former Arizona Cardinals teammate who was killed in combat in Afghanistan in April as a member of the U.S. Army Rangers.
Plummer, in consultation with the Broncos and the NFL, made plans to honor Tillman in other ways. The league will play public-service announcements taped by Plummer for the Pat Tillman Foundation in its stadiums on Veterans Day, and the Broncos will put a logo with Tillman's No. 40 for the Cardinals near the play clock in an end zone at Invesco Field at Mile High and run promotions for Tillman's foundation on the scoreboard during games.
Plummer, who also played with Tillman in college at Arizona State, had faced threatened fines by the league for continuing to wear a No. 40 helmet decal during games. But no fine was assessed to Plummer, an NFL official said yesterday. All NFL players wore helmet decals with Tillman's number during games in Week 2, and Plummer wore his in two games since then. The Cardinals are wearing the decals all season. NFL officials have said they don't permit personal tributes by players on their uniforms because it would be difficult to determine which to allow and which to prohibit.
* RAIDERS: Jerry Rice met with owner Al Davis yesterday on Rice's 42nd birthday to discuss the wide receiver's future after he said he wants to be traded.
"I told him that it doesn't look like this is going to work out," Rice said of his meeting with Davis. "And then we talked football."
The last time Davis met with a wide receiver was during training camp, and Tim Brown was released the next day after refusing to accept a greatly diminished role.
Rice is making $1.35 million in base salary this season.
Raiders Coach Norv Turner said of Rice: "He's expressed to us his wishes, and we'll see what happens."
* PANTHERS: Carolina placed defensive tackle Kris Jenkins (Maryland) on the injured reserve list. He will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery for a torn labrum.
* DOLPHINS: Miami signed kicker Matt Bryant, who is expected to play Sunday at Buffalo in place of Olindo Mare (injured right calf).
* BENGALS: Chad Johnson played his idea of a joke on the Cleveland Browns. The wide receiver sent each of Cleveland's four defensive backs a package containing a handwritten note and a bottle of upset-stomach medicine.
"I think some of the guys are taking it personal," said Browns cornerback Daylon McCutcheon, who got a laugh out of the gesture. "But I think for the most part, he is not an in-your-face guy. He just likes to have fun. He enjoys playing football. He's a jokester."
* PACKERS: Offensive coordinator Tom Rossley underwent emergency heart surgery to clear a blocked artery.
Rossley, 58, reported to work Tuesday, hours after the Packers' 48-27 loss to Tennessee, and said he hadn't been feeling well overnight, Coach Mike Sherman said.