Big decisions looming for the league

Big decisions are made at the NFL’s offices, 280 Park Avenue, all the time. But the ones made in the coming days will come with greater frequency than any time in recent memory, and they will significantly impact the divisional and playoff races in the NFC.

For starters, league officials met today with Vikings defensive end Jared Allen about some of the questionable hits he has doled out on opposing quarterbacks, most notably Houston’s Matt Schaub.

But Allen is hardly the only visitor to league headquarters today. Saints running back Deuce McAllister, and New Orleans defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant, are appealing their four-game suspension. The league has not given a timetable for when it is expected to make its ruling, but it won’t be long.

After the Saints visit, Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams are scheduled to appeal their four-game suspensions at league headquarters on Thursday. Neither player is expected to practice Thursday as the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s key game at Jacksonville.

And on Friday, Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson will appeal his four-game suspension at league headquarters.

As if that weren’t enough, the NFL also is expected to rule as early as today whether to reinstate Dallas cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones. The league does not discuss its thoughts on Jones’ potential reinstatement, but there are any number of options available to the NFL, and one could be allowing Jones to practice but not yet play in games.

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