NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the suspensions of Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith on Tuesday for their role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal and reduced penalties for Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove.
Though an appeal panel created by the NFL's labor agreement vacated the original suspensions on technical grounds, Goodell ruled he was sticking with his decision to suspend Vilma for the season and Smith for four games.
Hargrove, a free agent defensive lineman, will face a two-game suspension once he signs with a team. He originally was hit with eight games, but that was reduced to seven with five games already served. Fujita, who plays for Cleveland, will now miss only one game instead of three.
Despite Goodell's new rulings, the seven-month old bounty saga is not over.
Vilma offered a response on Twitter that read, in part, "this is not news to me pride won't let him admit he's wrong." Smith issued a statement saying he will continue to explore his appeal options.
Texans: Linebacker Brian Cushing is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, leaving unbeaten Houston without its top tackler and one of their emotional leaders. Cushing was hurt in the second quarter of the Texans' 23-17 win over the New York Jets on a low block by guard Matt Slauson.
Lions: Alex Karras, 77, was recently released from a California hospital after having kidney failure so he could spend his final days with family. "He may be dying of kidney failure because now his body is catching up to the deterioration of his mind," Craig Mitnick, Karras' attorney in a lawsuit against the NFL, told The Associated Press.
The former defensive tackle and actor, who was born and raised in Gary, Ind., has been surrounded by his wife and kids at his home in Los Angeles.
Redskins: The team released struggling kicker Billy Cundiff and replaced him with free agent Kai Forbath, who won the Lou Groza Award with UCLA in 2009 as the top kicker in college football but has yet to play in the NFL. Cundiff has been the worst kicker in the league this year, making only seven of 12 field goal attempts.
Bills: General manager Buddy Nix places the blame for Buffalo's defensive meltdowns on an overall lack of urgency and not solely on high-priced defensive end Mario Williams. Nix also maintained his confidence in coach Chan Gailey's ability to turn around a team suddenly facing an early season crisis.
The Bills lost 45-3 to the 49ers on Sunday and 52-28 loss to New England a week earlier. Buffalo has allowed 1,201 yards offense in five games, the most by an NFL team since the New York Yanks surrendered 1,227 over that span in 1950.
Cardinals: The team announced that it is putting running back Ryan Williams on injured reserve with a left shoulder injury, officially ending his season. Williams' injury, the result of a hard hit during Thursday night's loss at St. Louis, was another blow to an already struggling running game.
Arizona was already without Beanie Wells until at least Thanksgiving weekend because of a severe turf toe injury.
Jets: Mark Sanchez is staying put as the New York Jets' starting quarterback despite struggling again in a 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans. "Yeah, no question," coach Rex Ryan said without hesitation when asked if Sanchez remains the team's starter over Tim Tebow.