NFL notes: 49ers emphasize zero tolerance for domestic violence


SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh have made it clear they have zero tolerance for domestic violence and consider defensive tackle Ray McDonald’s arrest a serious matter.

The team is gathering as much information as possible in the wake of the veteran defensive tackle’s arrest Sunday on felony domestic violence charges. Baalke said the organization would let the legal process play out before determining what is next for McDonald with the team.

Baalke said he has had lengthy conversations with McDonald since Sunday.

“This matter is being treated seriously by this organization,” Baalke said. “This is certainly something that hits home for me. I’ve got two daughters myself. Domestic violence is unacceptable, and it certainly won’t be tolerated.”

Harbaugh maintained his firm stance about the topic during his Tuesday morning radio segment on KNBR-AM, two days after McDonald was arrested during a party for his 30th birthday — which was Tuesday. Harbaugh’s first media availability of the week is Wednesday as the team prepares for its season opener Sunday at Dallas.

“You ask me how I feel about domestic violence. I can be very clear about that,” Harbaugh said on the radio. “If someone physically abuses a woman and/or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, then there’s no understanding. There’s no tolerance for that.”

McDonald is out on $25,000 bail following his arrest at his San Jose home early Sunday where he was celebrating his milestone birthday with many teammates and friends.

Harbaugh said he didn’t know all of the details regarding McDonald and cautioned against any rush to judgment. The coach also said Tuesday that he wouldn’t allow any player who was found guilty of domestic violence on his team.

“Yes, we would not. We can be very clear (on that),” Harbaugh said. “This is a legal matter. I think we all owe, to everyone involved, the ability for due process to take place.”

Harbaugh met with the team Tuesday to reiterate his zero tolerance policy on domestic violence. Baalke said he hasn’t spoken to other players who attended McDonald’s birthday party.

Tight end Vernon Davis said he was there along with many other teammates throughout the evening. Davis said he left when the police arrived.

“I didn’t see them arrest him. I tried to stay out of it. I’ll talk to Ray later. I didn’t see anything. I didn’t hear anything. So I don’t know what went on over there,” Davis said. “All I do know is Ray is a great guy, he’s awesome.”

Broncos WR Welker suspended for four games

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Wes Welker is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, according to published reports.

ESPN reported the violation had to do with amphetamines.

The Broncos didn’t immediately return a message from The Associated Press requesting comment Tuesday.

NFL Media reported Welker was notified Tuesday he had lost his appeal, which was heard two weeks ago.

Welker returned to practice Monday for the first time since suffering a concussion Aug. 23. It was his third concussion in 10 months.

Cowboys’ Brent reinstated, suspended for 10 games

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent is being allowed to return to the NFL, though he won’t play right away.

The NFL on Tuesday outlined a series of conditions Brent must meet to be eligible to play when the Cowboys return from their bye week in November. Brent retired last year and was sentenced to 180 days in jail after a trial earlier this year. A 10-year prison sentence was suspended.

The NFL said Brent will be suspended for the first 10 games of the season for his intoxication manslaughter conviction in the 2012 death of teammate Jerry Brown. Brent also can’t be involved in team activities for the first six weeks and must avoid any “adverse involvement with law enforcement.”

Colts owner Irsay apologizes to fans for arrest

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has apologized to Colts fans for driving while intoxicated, saying his March arrest opened his eyes “to issues in my life that needed addressing.”

Irsay pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Afterward, he said he knows he made a mistake March 16 when he drove under the influence of prescription medications near his home in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel.

He said his arrest helped put him on a path to regaining his health. Irsay says he vows “to turn this whole experience into a positive event for myself, my family, and the community.”

The NFL has suspended Irsay for the first six games of the season and fined him $500,000 for violating its personal conduct policy.

By wire sources