by Fitzgerald Cecilio
Former New York Giants linebacker Barrett Green has sued the Washington Redskins and Gregg Williams, claiming that his career-ending ACL injury resulted from a bounty program that the latter ran as defensive coordinator while with the team.
Green also named tight end and special teamer Robert Royal in the lawsuit, saying that his tackle injured his ACL on December 5, 2004 and eventually ended his career. Royal last played in 2010.
Green included Royal in the lawsuit despite being an offensive player because he had played at least one snap on defense for Williams before, making them liable for carrying out the alleged bounty.
Green filed the suit in May in Prince George's County, Maryland and was re-filed last week in U.S. District Court in nearby Greenbelt.
The 35-year-old Green played in the NFL for six seasons, the last in 2005. After the injury against Washington, he played the next two weeks before sitting out the final two. He only played one game the following season before being released in the offseason.
Williams, now a senior defensive assistant with the Titans, was suspended all of last season by the NFL for his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty program.
He was accused of operating a similar program with the Redskins when he coached there from 2004-07, but the league cleared him and the team.
Tulane law professor Gabe Feldman described the chances of Green winning the suit as "a longshot", saying the courts have historically recognized that the nature of football puts the potential for serious injury.
"Green would then have to prove his belief that his career-ending injury was a result of Royal intentionally trying to inflict it on the orders of his coach and his team," Feldman said. "There are a lot of dots to connect, and you have to find all the dots."