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NFL, ESPN, Chargers, Rams have no comment on Aaron Patrick lawsuit

Peyton Manning sits down with Mike Florio to discuss everything from his second career as a media mogul to the Colts hiring Jeff Saturday to whether he'd ever want to be commissioner of the NFL.

Broncos linebacker Aaron Patrick tore an ACL last month on the sideline at SoFi Stadium, while trying not to collide with a worker. He has now sued every potentially liable party, including the NFL, ESPN, the Chargers (the home team that night), and the Rams (the owners of the stadium).

PFT contacted each of those defendants for reaction on Tuesday. Each declined comment.

They won’t be able to decline comment indefinitely. Eventually, they’ll have to respond.

The NFL, the Chargers, and the Rams undoubtedly will attempt to move the case to arbitration, invoking the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. ESPN likely will be exempt from any such effort, creating a dilemma for the broadcaster. Should it fight the effort of the NFL and its teams to avoid the civil lawsuit, or should it respect the broader TV arrangement with the NFL?

It’s probably not much of a dilemma. Indeed, there’s a chance that the broadcast deal with ESPN includes a provision for ESPN to indemnify the NFL for such injuries. Even if there’s no such arrangement, ESPN likely will avoid undermining a relationship that has been in place for 16 years, and that will last at least through most of the current decade.