Linebacker Scott Fujita may in fact get to suit up for the Cleveland Browns on Opening Day. From Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter, a three-member appeals panel has overturned the ruling that resulted in players being suspended in the New Orleans Saints bounty case.
The panel overturned a ruling by NFL system arbiter Stephen Burbank that commissioner Rodger Goodell was within his powers under the current league collective bargaining agreement to suspend four players for their alleged roles in a pay to injure system. Fujita was handed a three-game suspension for his alleged role in the scandal, a ruling which was quickly appealed.
Though dealing in hypothetical earlier on Friday, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur stated that he anticipated Fujita playing in the contest against the Philadelphia Eagles in the event that the suspension was indeed overturned. The team will have to make a roster move as the veteran linebacker was on the reserved/suspended list heading into the season, thus not counting against the team’s 53-man roster.
Update: The Cleveland Browns have been granted a roster exemption for Sunday and will take to the field with 54 men.