The Superdome police officer on the receiving end of a butt slap from Odell Beckham Jr. is not pressing charges against the Cleveland Browns receiver, multiple outlets reported Saturday. The 48-year-old lieutenant signed an affidavit stating he did not wish to pursue any charges, according to law enforcement sources.
On Thursday, New Orleans police obtained a warrant for Beckham on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery after he was videotaped slapping the rear end of the officer in the LSU locker room following the Tigers’ national championship win against Clemson on Monday.
It remains to be seen if the New Orleans police rescind the warrant, which ESPN reports could happen as soon as this weekend. According to NOLA.com, the officer had been attempting to enforce a no-smoking policy in the locker room by telling players to extinguish their celebratory cigars.
The officer, who is not employed by the New Orleans Police Department, holds a special commission that would have allowed him to place Beckham under arrest. He opted not to do so because of the locker room’s “jovial atmosphere,” according to NOLA.com.
—If the oddsmakers are correct, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will soon be celebrating victories that sent them to Super Bowl LIV. But there are 120 minutes — or more — of football action on Sunday that will formally decide the Feb. 2 matchup in Miami.
According to FanDuel, both teams are 7.5-point favorites to win their respective games — Kansas City against the visiting Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game and host San Francisco versus the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game.
The over-under for the AFC contest is 52.5, and it stands at 46.5 for the NFC game. Kansas City remains the Super Bowl favorite at +130. San Francisco is at +155, Green Bay is +700 and Tennessee is +750.
—The Packers added punter JK Scott to the injury report for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the 49ers due to an illness.
Scott and fullback Danny Vitale (knee) are the only two Packers listed as questionable.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2018, the 23-year-old Scott averaged 44.0 yards on 77 punts in 2019. He tied for ninth in the NFL with 29 punts downed inside the 20.
—The Houston Texans have fired senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach John Pagano, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The 52-year-old Pagano, the younger brother of former Indianapolis Colts head coach and current Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, was let go by the Texans after two seasons with the team.
According to the Chronicle report, league sources said that veteran defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is still deciding whether to return for another season in Houston. The report mentions defensive line coach Anthony Weaver as an internal candidate to replace the 72-year-old Crennel, Texans defensive coordinator for five seasons (2014-16, 2018-19), if he retires.
—Former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello will interview for the same position with the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland.com reported.
New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski will meet with Scangarello on Monday or Tuesday, per the report.
Scangarello, 47, was fired by Denver last week after one season and replaced by former Browns and New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur. The Broncos finished 28th in the NFL in scoring and total offense in 2019, although Scangarello did win games with three different quarterbacks: Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen and rookie Drew Lock.
—New England Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty revealed that he recently underwent groin surgery.
McCourty addressed the surgery during his podcast, “Double Coverage,” which he hosts with his twin brother Devin, who plays safety for New England. The pair were discussing recovery boots when McCourty noted he was not wearing his because he was recovering from surgery.
McCourty battled a groin injury throughout much of the 2019 season and missed five games, including the Patriots’ loss in the AFC Wild Card game to the Tennessee Titans. He played only eight defensive snaps after New England’s Week 11 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
—Field Level Media