Peep Show

Updated: October 16, 2003, 12:33 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | ESPN Insider
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Warren Sapp will appeal the $50,000 fine that the league levied against him for his alleged abusive treatment of game officials, with the help of NFL Players Association chief Gene Upshaw. The fine came after a league review of three incidents involving Sapp, including a bump of an official as he skipped on the field before last Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. The league also cited two previous incidents of verbal abuse of officials earlier this season and threatened to suspend Sapp for further misconduct. Upshaw called the fine excessive, and pointed out that the league erred in citing three incidents at once without first giving Sapp a warning. If the league wanted to discipline Sapp for the previous incidents mentioned in the fine, Upshaw said, it should have done so in a timelier manner. "The appeal will be based on, first, the timeliness of it," Upshaw told the Washington Post. "Second, it's a first offense, and that's pretty steep for a first offense. We will also base it on, there was no warning. For them to say they looked back at three films and then say, 'We looked at those three films and based on those three films, we're going to fine you $50,000,' when a first offense is $15,000, then a second offense is $25,000 and you look at the history of bumping officials and guys who actually did it sort of on purpose -- they were never that high."

New York Giants: Though the team spent extra practice time last week trying to limit their turnovers, they still had five against the New England Patriots. The two main culprits were QB Kerry Collins and RB Tiki Barber, so coach Jim Fassel put together a lowlight reel of all the duos turnovers to show the players to see what changes could be made to eliminate the problem. Fassel said he detected a slight change in the way Barber carried the ball. "I thought he was carrying it too far back," he told the New York Times, "and when contact is made, the ball comes out the back end." Fassel also said that of Collins' nine interceptions that only two were totally his fault. But no matter whose at fault for the turnovers, the Giants must stop them from coming in bunches. Over the last two weeks they've lost games against Miami and New England despite gaining more yards because of the nine turnovers they've committed.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Staph infections crept into the news again Wednesday after QB Mark Brunell and P Chris Hanson were told to keep away from the team's Alltel Stadium facility because of concern by the team over possible staph infections. Brunell underwent surgery Monday to repair the bursa sac in his left elbow and Hanson underwent a four-hour procedure a week ago to repair a gash he put in his leg with an ax. "Keeping those two guys away is the safest and wisest thing to do, because it minimizes the risk of those kinds of infections [spreading]," coach Jack Del Rio told the Florida Times-Union. Earlier in the year several Miami Dolphins players fell victim to staph infections.