PHILADELPHIA — Former NFL players trying to sue the league over concussion-linked injuries argued in court Tuesday that the NFL “glorified” violence and profited from damaging hits to the head.
Players’ lawyer David Frederick also accused the league of concealing the emerging science about concussions over several decades, even after creating a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury committee in 1994.
“It set up a sham committee designed to get information about neurological risks, but in fact spread misinformation,” Frederick argued at a pivotal federal hearing to determine if the complaints will remain in court or be sent to arbitration.
U.S. District Judge Anita Brody’s decision could be worth billions to either side.
About 4,200 of the league’s 12,000 former players have joined the litigation. Some are battling dementia, depression or Alzheimer’s disease, and fault the league for rushing them back on the field after concussions. Others are worried about developing problems and want their health monitored.
A handful, including popular Pro Bowler Junior Seau, has committed suicide.
Around the league
Dallas: The Cowboys re-signed receiver Anthony Armstrong two weeks after releasing him while trying to maneuver around the salary cap.
The Cowboys signed Armstrong in November and he played one game without recording any stats. He played five games with the Miami Dolphins last season before getting released.
Detroit: The Lions officially signed kicker David Akers.
Akers, 38, was released last month by the San Francisco 49ers after he followed up a record-breaking season with shaky results. The four-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl kicker made just 29 of 44 field goals last year after setting single-season league records with 44 field goals on 52 attempts in 2011. Akers has made 367 of 453 field goals in his career with Washington, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Green Bay: The Packers signed tight end Matthew Mulligan, a fifth-year veteran out of Maine who played in all 16 games for the St. Louis Rams last season. He had career highs with eight catches for 84 yards (10.5 avg.) and his first career touchdown.
million upgrade to the team’s stadium.
Oakland: The Raiders signed Mike Jenkins to team with the recently added Tracy Porter, adding experience to an untested secondary. Oakland also signed free agent safety Usama Young and brought back free agent defensive end Andre Carter for a second season.
Before these latest additions of former starters in the NFL, the other cornerbacks on the Raiders’ roster had combined for four career starts.
New York Jets: The team replaced departed safety LaRon Landry with his brother.
Dawan Landry signed with the Jets, nearly a month after his younger brother left New York to sign with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent. Dawan Landry, 30, played the past two seasons with Jacksonville before being released last month.
He spent five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, playing his first three years under Rex Ryan, who was Baltimore’s defensive coordinator, and current Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. Landry has started all but two games in his seven-year career and has 12 interceptions, three touchdowns and 5 1/2 sacks.
Pittsburgh: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has been named to the NFL’s competition committee. He will replace former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Tomlin had worked on the Coaches Subcommittee of the Competition Committee since 2009.