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Kelly Says He Wasn’t Hit By Punch

Associated Press

Jim Harbaugh might have broken a bone in his hand punching something, but according to former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, it wasn’t Kelly’s face.

Kelly, now a commentator with NBC, released a statement Tuesday saying he never was struck by Harbaugh during a confrontation last week and wasn’t sure how the Indianapolis Colts quarterback broke his hand.

“I don’t know how he hurt himself, since I never saw a punch and certainly did not get hit,” Kelly said. “But we spoke at length before the game on Sunday morning, talked everything out, ended on a positive note and put it behind us.”

Kelly’s story contradicts one from Harbaugh, who apparently was angry about being called a baby by Kelly on a TV show in Buffalo the previous week.

Harbaugh said the incident took place Saturday evening in San Diego, where Kelly was to broadcast Sunday’s game between the Colts and Chargers for NBC.

Ed Kilgore, sports director of Kelly’s weekly television show on WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, said Monday night that Kelly confirmed he scuffled with Harbaugh.

Kelly said he was shoved against the wall and the two wrestled on the floor, but he doesn’t remember Harbaugh punching him, Kilgore said.

“Jim Harbaugh and I disagreed on something I said,” Kelly said in the statement. “He approached me about it and we have since settled everything.”

Kelly’s brother, Dan, said Jim considered the situation over. He also said rumors about Jim having a black eye also were untrue.

Harbaugh will be placed on the non-football injured list and will forfeit his salary, about $140,000 per week, until he is cleared to play.

Commissioner has his say

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue hopes a long telephone conversation with Dennis Green was enough to quiet Green’s broiling feud with the Minnesota Vikings owners.

The commissioner talked with Green on Monday for the first time since Green’s threat to sue for control of the team was revealed late last week. Tagliabue also talked again with Vikings president Roger Headrick.

Although Tagliabue has the power to delegate punishment or hand down binding decisions in such situations, he stopped short of either step - at least for now.

Tagliabue told Green and Headrick they needed to settle the dispute quickly and quietly in-house or he would get involved more formally, an ominous proposition for both sides.

Around the league

Cincinnati Bengals rookie defensive back Tremain Mack began serving a 30-day DUI sentence after pleading no contest to a charge of drunken driving. He was arrested early Saturday morning east of Cincinnati. … Defensive tackle Chris Zorich, the Chicago Bears’ second-round pick in 1991 and a player known for charity work in his hometown, was waived Tuesday. … Buffalo Bills linebacker Chris Spielman will miss the remainder of the season with a herniated disc in his neck, an injury that could threaten his 10-year career.

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