A week after their "Hands Up, Don't Shoot!" show of solidarity, several St. Louis Rams players made another societal statement Sunday with the message: "I Can't Breathe."
The slogan refers to Eric Garner, who died after a New York police officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. A grand jury decided last week that it would not indict the officer. A video of the arrest showed Garner gasping, "I can't breathe."
Guard Davin Joseph wrote the words on the cleats he wore during pregame warm-ups before the Rams beat the Washington Redskins, 24-0. Tight end Jared Cook had it written on his wrist tape, and he said receiver Kenny Britt and two or three other offensive players did the same.
"I feel like we should support what we feel is right," said Joseph, who intended to wear the cleats during the game but had to change because of the condition of the slick turf at the Redskins' stadium. "We should always have an opinion of sticking up for people who don't have a voice."
Joseph tweeted an image of his shoes before the game with the message: "R.I.P. Eric Garner." Players at other NFL games expressed similar sentiments. Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush had "I Can't Breathe" written in black across his blue warm-up shirt. Browns cornerback Johnson Bademosi wrote the message on the back of the shirt he wore before a game in Cleveland.
Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson left the game early in the second quarter with a concussion after being hit in the head by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith. Johnson dropped the ball and lost his helmet on the play. Teammates rushed to his side and motioned for trainers. Johnson sat up a few minutes later and eventually walked off the field under his own power.
Other notable injuries:
Washington Redskins running back Roy Helu was questionable and did not return to the game against the St. Louis Rams with a toe injury.
Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor did not return against the Bengals with knee and shoulder injuries.
Miami Dolphins safety Louis Delmas was taken off the field on a cart during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens.
New York Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin did not return with an ankle injury suffered against the Minnesota Vikings.