With a hurricane targeting the East Coast and the suspended players targeting former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue for recusal, a hearing that had been set for October 30 on the appeals of the suspensions has been postponed.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Tagliabue has “adjourned” the hearing. A new date for the appeal before Tagliabue has not been determined. It’s believed that Tagliabue will provide more information on Monday.
Regardless of whether Tagliabue planned to proceed on Tuesday even with the briefing process on the recusal effort before Judge Helen Berrigan in Louisiana concluding Monday at noon ET, the travel delays and other practical consequences of Hurricane Sandy surely had a role in the decision.
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Saints defensive end Will Smith will be playing on Sunday night in Denver. With the storm starting Sunday and intensifying significantly on Monday, it’s unlikely that they would have been able to get to hearing.
And so the issues will continue to linger, and Vilma and Smith will be available to keep playing. The Saints host the Eagles in Week Nine and the Falcons in Week 10.
The delay doesn’t impact Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, who has been placed on injured reserve. It arguably hurts free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who currently faces a two-game suspension after he signs with a new team. As a practical matter, he won’t be signed by anyone until his status is resolved via the internal appeal process and the court system.