DENVER - The league refused Friday to retract wording in a letter to Broncos safety John Lynch that warned he could be ejected for making another illegal hit like the one that knocked Colts tight end Dallas Clark out of last weekend's game.
The league fined Lynch $75,000 for the helmet-to-helmet hit. League disciplinarian Gene Washington sent a letter reprimanding Lynch for the hit and informing him officials for Sunday's rematch at Indianapolis have been alerted to keep an eye on Lynch and eject him if warranted.
On Jim Rome's syndicated radio show, Lynch reiterated that he felt the league was tarnishing his reputation by fining him and singling him out. He said the most disturbing part was the section warning of his possible ejection.
"I think it's real dangerous when you're taking something that is supposed to be the most impartial part of the game and now, all of the sudden, you're instructing officials to look for someone," Lynch said.
DEFENSIVE HONORS: The Jets' Jonathan Vilma was named Associated Press defensive rookie of the year, receiving 21 votes. The ex-Miami star finished second on the team with 116 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Houston CB Dunta Robinson was second with 12 votes, followed by Denver LB D.J. Williams with seven and Washington safety Sean Taylor with 3. Williams and Taylor played at Miami.
FALCONS: Quarterback Michael Vick (stomach flu) returned to practice.
PATRIOTS: Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law (broken foot) was placed on injured reserve and will miss the postseason.
REDSKINS: Joe Gibbs hired West Coast offense veteran Bill Musgrave as quarterbacks coach. Musgrave was recently fired after two years as Jacksonville's offensive coordinator.