NY Giants Super Bowl Ring Burglary Caught on Video ... Linebacker Claims

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You're looking at the two scumbags who allegedly jacked a Super Bowl XLVI ring from a retired NY Giants linebacker's L.A. home ... and now the player is begging for its return.

The footage belongs to Spencer Paysinger, who was a rookie back in 2011 when the Giants miraculously beat the New England Patriots in one of the best title games ever.


Paysinger says he left a window open to air out his home on March 17 -- when two guys broke into the house and started rummaging through his stuff.

The 31-year-old -- who retired in 2017 -- says the crooks took all sorts of valuables including purses, computers and one REALLY important piece of jewelry ... the Super Bowl ring.

"I took it out recently for an elementary school Career Day and was lazy on returning to its secure location," Paysinger says.

The good news ... Paysinger had a Nest security camera in the home that captured the alleged thieves. You can see them going through the home with a flashlight while wearing gloves to hide fingerprints.

The bad news ... Paysinger says he had accidentally stopped paying to insure the ring just one month before the burglary because he changed credit cards and didn't update his autopay.

Now, Paysinger says he's desperate to get back his ring -- and promises if anyone comes forward with the item, he won't go to police.

"My Super Bowl ring should serve as a cherished family heirloom not an unfortunate event."

"If you’re reading this or if anyone knows the two young men in the video, please be assured there are no consequences tied to this post. This isn’t bait, there are no cops involved and nothing will happen to you by giving back my ring; keep the other s**t."

"All I want is peace of mind and to understand your circumstance in hopes that it will spell the next family from our experience."

Rams vs. Bears 4 Killed in Shooting at NFL Watch Party ... 'Targeted Act of Violence'

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11:28 AM PT -- The Fresno Police have more info on the shooting -- saying they now believe it was a "targeted act of violence."

Cops say it seems the shooting is connected to an incident earlier the week involving people who were at the football party. The insinuation is that the shooters were seeking revenge for a previous incident.

Cops say the suspects are still at large and they following up on multiple leads.

Officials are on the hunt for multiple suspects who entered a backyard NFL watch party in Fresno, CA and opened fire -- killing 4 people and injuring 6 more.

Around 35 people were at a home Sunday evening to watch the L.A. Rams vs. Chicago Bears game -- it's being described as a "friends and family gathering."

But, around 6 PM PT, "unknown suspects" snuck into the party and opened fire -- striking multiple people.

Cops say 3 people died at the scene and a 4th died at the hospital. 5 people are still hospitalized in critical condition but expected to survive and a 6th person suffered minor injuries.

Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley told the media ... "Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire."

Cops say it does not appear the victims knew the shooters -- and officials do NOT believe it was gang-related at this point, but they have not ruled it out.

No one has been arrested and cops have not identified a suspect.

Originally published -- 6:09 AM PT

Browns Superfan Brad Paisley On Myles Garrett ... Pittsburgh Will Never Forgive Him


Brad Paisley is a MASSIVE Cleveland Browns fan -- and you can tell he's genuinely sad about the incident with Myles Garrett ... explaining why the helmet-swing was heartbreaking to watch.

"Wish he hadn't done what he did," the country music superstar tells TMZ Sports ... "It's crazy. He shouldn't have done that."


Paisley has spent a lot of time around the Browns (remember his "Hard Knocks" cameo at training camp?) ... and says he's heard Garrett is a good dude, which makes it harder to understand why he went so crazy against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.

"I'd love to know what he's thinking. I'm sure he's remorseful."

Even if Garrett can bounce back from the scandal, Paisley says he'll NEVER win back Steelers fans ... saying, "Pittsburgh will never forgive him, I'm sure."

As for the punishment, Paisley says he'll support whatever suspension the NFL eventually dishes out -- "He needs to serve that time, whatever they decide that is."

The league has already suspended Garrett for the rest of the year, but he's appealing this week and the punishment COULD change (maybe).

So, why is Paisley -- who's from West Virginia -- a Browns fan? It all stems back to Brian Sipe ... (betcha didn't think you'd see that name today!)

Here's a video to help explain ...

Tua Tagovailoa Sings Marvin Gaye in Hospital Bed …Before Major Surgery

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Alabama star QB Tua Tagovailoa was hittin' them high notes -- singin' Marvin Gaye in his hospital bed Sunday night -- a day after enduring a super serious and painful hip injury.

Maybe it's the meds.

Tua suffered a dislocated and fractured right hip Saturday late in the 2nd quarter after two Mississippi State defenders fell on top of him ... leaving him bloodied and in crazy pain on the field.

The Heisman Trophy candidate -- and projected Top 10 pick -- was rushed to the hospital Saturday afternoon ... and will have surgery to repair the injury on Monday ... potentially putting him on the shelf for all of next season.

Tua's football future is up in the air ... so he's gotta be devastated, right?

Not exactly.

Bama O-lineman Joshua Carter posted video of Tagovailoa gettin' it in his hospital bed ... singing "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye and playing an instrument.

"Ya sound good boy!" ... the senior lineman tells Tua.

Sure, Tua's a better football player than a singer ... but it's good to see him happy so soon after a horrific injury.

By the way, Bama -- without TT in the 2nd half -- won the game 38-7 with backup QB Mac Jones at the helm.

Get well, Tua!!

Richard Sherman Gives $5k to Compton FB Team For Youth Championship Tourney

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Richard Sherman just came through BIG TIME for a youth football team from his hometown ... donating a big chunk of change to send them to the championship tournament!!

The Hub City (6U) Pop Warner team from Compton earned a trip to the National Youth Championship in Florida after going undefeated this season.

Not only was their play on the field impressive -- each kid had to maintain at least a 3.1 GPA in order to play.

But, there was one problem -- the team had to raise at least $15k in less than a month to cover travel and hotel expenses ... and needed help from the community to reach their goal.

Luckily for the team, the 49ers superstar -- who went to Dominguez High School in Compton -- got wind of their campaign after seeing the story on FOX 11 in L.A. and dropped $5,000 to help them get past the $15k mark!

"I respect good football but I respect the 3.1 min gpa more," Sherman said. "Establishing good habits young. I would like to help."

The 31-year-old quickly sprang into action -- sending over the donation to the team's GoFundMe page just minutes after finding out about the team ... and now they should be on their way to get that trophy!

Sherman isn't the only one helping out ... we're told Oakland Raiders cornerback Keisean Nixon -- who's from Compton -- donated $2k.

Props to Sherman and Nixon!!

Colin Kaepernick's NFL Workout Waiver Revealed ... Here's Why They Clashed

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The NFL and Colin Kaepernick had two entirely different approaches to the legal issues going into Saturday's doomed workout ... and it's obvious when you read the waivers.

As we previously reported, Colin refused to sign the waiver the NFL initially presented to his camp -- and countered with a much shorter version of his own, which the NFL ultimately rejected.

We've seen both waivers, and the first big difference is length ... the NFL waiver is more than 1,200 words. Colin's is 268.

We're told Colin was more than willing to sign a waiver that specifically released the NFL from any legal liability if Colin got injured during the workout. But, he felt the NFL's waiver could be construed as much broader than that -- and may have prevented him from bringing any future action against the NFL based on violations of employment laws or the collective bargaining agreement.

One particular paragraph that was troubling for Colin reads, "In consideration for the opportunity to participate in the workout, Player [releases the NFL from all liability] ... arising out of, occurring during, or related directly or indirectly to the workout."

Colin felt that when the language is read to the extreme, it could bar him from ever suing the NFL for any reason in the future.

So, he countered with his own waiver -- a shorter version which stuck to ONLY physical injury-related issues.

As for the NFL, the league has insisted the waiver they offered was standard and they weren't willing to budge.

Bottom line ... the dispute evolved into a "take it or leave it" moment -- and Kaepernick decided to leave it.

NFL Announcer Adam Archuleta Muses About Growing 'Dirty Sanchez' Mustache ... During Broadcast

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Dear Adam Archuleta ...

A "Dirty Sanchez" mustache isn't what you think it is -- it's WAYYYY WORSE -- and you probably shouldn't be referencing it during an NFL game ON LIVE TV!!

For those unaware, a "Dirty Sanchez" is most commonly described on Urban Dictionary as a temporary mustache wiped on to one's face ... and it's comprised of fecal matter.

In other words, it's a poop 'stache!

Good times, huh?!

Anyway, Archuleta -- former NFL star-turned-broadcaster -- was working the Bills vs. Dolphins game for CBS this weekend with Spero Dedes, when Spero asked if Adam could grow a mustache by next week.

"I could probably squeeze out maybe a Dirty Sanchez, not really a full stache," Archuleta said.


Innocent mistake? Yeah, probably.

Will this haunt him for a while? Yeah, probably.

So far, Adam has yet to comment on the situation -- guessing he's gonna say the whole thing stinks.

Colin Kaepernick Tape's Been Sent Workout Video Goes to All 32 NFL Teams


Colin Kaepernick's team has sent the full video of his Saturday workout to all 32 NFL clubs, TMZ Sports has learned ... and now the waiting game begins.

Sources connected to Kap tell us turning the video around quickly was a priority and they had it out within 24 hours of the Atlanta workout.

We're told Colin also sent a note to each team saying he's ready, willing and able to visit with any team for an interview and/or workout (as teams usually do) if there's real interest.

Of course, the most important thing for Team Kap is making sure decision-makers get a chance to see Colin's skills for themselves so they can quickly evaluate him and hopefully make an offer.

The immediate reaction to the workout from the scouts who attended was reportedly good -- with one NFL exec telling ESPN's Adam Schefter his arm talent is "elite."

Directly after the workout, Kaepernick had a message for NFL owners, GMs, coaches and even Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"We’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people. We’re out here, we’re ready to play, we’re ready to go anywhere."


Not everyone was stoked about the workout -- several high profile media members including Stephen A. Smith felt Kap's decision to bail on the official NFL workout and hold his own open workout instead cut heavily against him.

Jay-Z felt the same way -- telling people he was disappointed with the way things went down because Colin "turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt."

Time will ultimately tell if Kap's decision will bear fruit -- stay tuned.

Jay-Z Disappointed in Kaepernick ... 'Turned a legitimate work out into a Publicity Stunt'


Jay-Z is unhappy with the way Colin Kaepernick handled his workout on Saturday -- our sources tell us Jay felt Colin "turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt."

As we previously reported, Colin bailed on the NFL's workout Saturday and held his own workout instead. Colin claims he wanted transparency -- insisting the NFL would not allow him to have media at the workout.

Sources close to Jay-Z tell us ... Jay is unhappy with the way things went down because he feels the league was genuine in trying to give Colin an opportunity.

Colin went through with his workout at a high school nearby and reviews are mixed. Some scouts are reportedly impressed with Kap's arms strength and talent. And, others are reportedly saying he looked average at best.


Now, the waiting game begins ... and we'll see if an NFL team will pull the trigger and sign the 32-year-old QB.

Stay tuned ...

Colin Kaepernick ATL Workout Wraps ... 'Ball's In Their Court'

Exclusive Details

3:35 PM PT -- Colin Kaepernick just addressed the media, and thanked them for coming out. He says he and his team were seeking transparency in his workout process and felt he wasn't getting that elsewhere.


Colin then challenged Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL teams, asking them to stop running from the truth and to stop running from the people. He added that he's ready to play, has been ready to play and is eagerly waiting from a team to call him.

Kap ended by saying the ball was in the league's court now.

2:57 PM PT -- As for the number of teams represented at Colin's new workout, it appears at first glance that only a fraction of them came out to actually watch ... at least based on who's on the ground.

A reporter snapped a shot of Colin thanking scouts from the Redskins, the Jets and the Chiefs. He reportedly thanked them for coming out and then added, "When you go back, tell your owners to stop being scared."

Personnel for the Eagles were also reportedly on hand, but it's unclear who else might've been out there watching. If this is it though, it's less than a quarter of the 25 reported teams that were sending folks out to watch Colin today.

2:42 PM PT -- Colin's workout appears to have just finished -- about an hour and a half after it got started. He's made his way over to a gate where it looks like he's signing autographs as the media looks on from afar.

2:00 PM PT -- The NFL just released a statement saying that Colin actually MISSED his scheduled workout, which seems to imply that whatever he's doing right now is NOT NFL sponsored.

The league goes on to say that despite its best efforts to cooperate with him and his team's ever-changing requests ... he pulled out last minute and is now going rogue on the plan. Just a few things they say they agreed to -- letting Colin bring his own receivers for his drills; allowing Coach Hue Jackson run drills for him; allowing Nike to shoot an ad featuring Colin as well as mentioning the 25 teams represented there.

The NFL then says that after it sent a standard liability waiver to Colin to sign -- something they say they send to all free agent players coming out for a combine -- they got it back completely rewritten by Colin's camp, which the league found unacceptable.

There's more, which you can read for yourself. The NFL makes a point to say that Colin is still an unrestricted free agent and that any team is free to sign him.

1:48 PM PT -- The workout is being broadcast live, and Colin is currently warming up on the football field. He's wearing a black shirt that reads "KUNTA KINTE" and is stopping to take photos and say hello to fans periodically.

1:39 PM PT -- As Colin's workout gets underway, we've learned some interesting info as to why the location was changed in the first place -- which completely contradicts Colin's assertion that the NFL wouldn't allow the media into the Falcons practice facility.

An NFL source tells TMZ Sports that despite what Colin and his camp broadcast on Saturday with a last-minute change for what's been described as transparency purposes, we're being told Colin himself had inquired about media accessibility when these talks first got started.

We're told the implication behind Colin's question was that he didn't want media there, as our source tells us he wanted to avoid a circus-like atmosphere. In other words, we're told the league is completely baffled by Kap and his team's reasoning on changing locations.

Our source tells us point blank ... Kap could've had the media join in at the Falcons practice facility if he wanted, but we're told he never made that request to begin with.

1:24 PM PT -- Colin just showed up to his new workout location in Atlanta, which is a high school that's reportedly about an hour away from the Falcons practice facility. He rolled up in a sprinter van with a small entourage of people accompanying him.

Eric Reid -- one of Colin's good friends -- is reportedly on hand as well to show support. It also doesn't look like Hue Jackson is gonna show to run Kap through drills -- he's reportedly headed back to the airport after flying in earlier Saturday.

12:11 PM PT -- Colin's team is now saying that if the guy's still up for it, they'd like to keep the invite open for former Browns coach Hue Jackson to oversee the drills and workout Colin will now go through at the Atlanta-area school. Jackson was originally scheduled to lead Kap through QB drills at the Falcon facility -- time will tell if he'll show to the new location.

More drama!

Colin Kaepernick will NOT have his NFL workout at the Atlanta Falcons facility at 12 PM PT as planned ... but it will go down at a separate location.

According to Colin's reps, the NFL refused to allow media to observe the workout, which didn't jive with Kap.

Also, Kap's team claims the NFL wanted him to sign an "unusual liability waiver" which "rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick's representatives."

"Based on prior conduct by the NFL league office, Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process."

As a result, Kaepernick is moving the workout to a nearby high school and it will be open to the media.

"Mr. Kaepernick looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today."

We're told Kap has a team of WRs to work with and plans on going through with the workout at 1 PM PT.

A bunch of protesters and supporters alike had gathered outside the Falcons facility to both cheer and speak out against Kap. Guessing they'll be moving to the new location as well.

Stay tuned ...

Originally Published -- 11:48 AM PT

Cris Collinsworth Hopes the Bengals Sign Kap ... 'He'll Fix 'Em'


Cris Collinsworth is publicly lobbying for his old team to sign Colin Kaepernick -- telling TMZ Sports the 32-year-old can help the Cincinnati Bengals turn things around.

Of course, Cris was a star WR for the Bengals in the '80s and now he's one of the most powerful broadcasters in sports ... so what he says matters.

And, on his way into Craig's in L.A., we asked if he thinks a team will sign Kaepernick after his workout in Atlanta on Saturday.

"I hope so. He's a good player. That would be great."

And, where would Kap be the best fit?

"The Bengals hopefully. He'll fix 'em!"

It's BAD in Cinci right now -- the Bengals have the worst record in pro football, 0-9. Winless. Sad. Pathetic.

The team benched starter Andy Dalton earlier this season in place of rookie Ryan Finley, but it hasn't gone much better.

TMZ Sports

Meanwhile, Kaepernick touched down in Atlanta on Thursday and is expected to hit the field on Saturday. He hasn't taken an NFL snap in 3 years, but let's face it -- couldn't do worse than what the Bengals have right now, right?

Montae Nicholson Investigation Woman's Mother Speaks Out He 'Could Have Done More'

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The mother of the woman who died following an incident at Montae Nicholson's home is breaking her silence ... saying the Redskins DB "could have done more" to save the girl's life.

According to Nicholson's attorney, the NFL player found a 21-year-old woman unresponsive at a bathroom in his Ashburn, Virginia home late Wednesday night.

Nicholson and a friend took the woman to a nearby hospital ... but officials say she later died there, suspecting a drug overdose.

The deceased woman has since been identified as Julia Crabbe ... and when FOX 5 in DC spoke with her mother, Michelle, on Friday, she said Nicholson could have done more to save her daughter.

"I'm perfectly happy to sit down and talk with him," Michelle said, adding, "[Julia's] life was so much more than what happened Wednesday. So much more."

Nicholson has yet to comment on the matter ... but the Redskins said in a statement the 23-year-old defensive back and the team are cooperating with authorities.

Redskins head coach Bill Callahan added it's unclear if Nicholson will play against the Jets on Sunday ... saying team officials are still gathering information on the situation.

Ex-Browns Coach Bob Wylie Myles Garrett Is Not A Monster!!! 'He's a Good Person'


Myles Garrett is a good person who made one HUGE mistake ... so says ex-Browns asst. coach Bob Wylie who tells TMZ Sports the helmet-swinging maniac is "not the real Myles Garrett I know."

You probably remember Wylie from "Hard Knocks" -- he worked alongside Garrett as an assistant coach from 2017-18 (remember the belly-shaking "set, HUT!").

Wylie says he was disappointed to see the DE weaponize a helmet against Mason Rudolph during Thursday night's game against the Steelers ... but hopes it doesn't permanently ruin MG's reputation.


"He's not a bad person, he's a real good kid and he plays a violent sport," Wylie says.

"You play right on the edge and he plays right on the edge of the sport. And, he went over the edge."

The former offensive line coach says Garrett is a model teammate who went out of his way to help Wylie's guys ... and he NEVER saw an outburst like that before.

"All the times I spent with him on the practice field and in meetings, I never saw that Myles. I saw his effort, I saw his ability to compete, I saw his study habits ... but I never saw that."


The NFL has suspended Garrett for the rest of the 2019 season -- though he plans to appeal. Garrett has since apologized to Rudolph and his teammates.

Myles Garrett Helmet Attack Appealing 2019 Season Suspension ... No Police Investigation

Breaking News

4:08 PM PT -- Rudolph will NOT pursue legal action against Garrett for the attack ... NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports "Rudolph considers the situation to be exclusively an NFL matter."

10:25 AM PT -- Garrett plans to appeal his indefinite suspension ... and has released a statement apologizing for his actions.

"Last night, I made a terrible mistake," Garrett says. "I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable."

"I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions moving forward."

"I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so."

9:35 AM PT -- Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have apologized to Rudolph and the Steelers for the Garrett incident ... calling his actions "completely unacceptable."

"We are extremely disappointed in what transpired last evening at the end of our game. There is no place for that in football and that is not reflective of the core values we strive for as an organization."

"Myles Garrett has been a good teammate and member of our organization and community for the last three years but his actions last night were completely unacceptable."

"We understand the consequences from the league for his actions."

8:56 AM PT -- The NFL has suspended Myles Garrett without pay for the remainder of the 2019 season -- including playoffs -- as a result of the helmet attack.

Here's the NFL's statement ...

"The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns organizations have each been fined $250,000 and three players -- Cleveland's Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi, and Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey -- have been suspended without pay for their actions in Thursday night's game."

"Garrett has been suspended without pay indefinitely -- at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason -- and must meet with the Commissioner's Office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount."

"Garrett violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting, removing the helmet of an opponent and using the helmet as a weapon."

"Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent."

"Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation."

"Additional discipline for other players will be forthcoming through the standard accountability process, including those players that left the bench to enter the fight area."

"Under the collective bargaining agreement, the suspensions may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline."

The Cleveland Police Dept. is NOT investigating Myles Garrett for assault stemming from the helmet attack on Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, a spokesperson tells TMZ Sports.

We asked if the CPD was planning to arrest the 23-year-old and we were told quite simply, "No."

"The person who was hit would have to file a report. There is no criminal complaint filed," Cleveland PD Public Information Officer Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia tells us.

The incident went down in the final seconds of the game at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland -- when Garrett and Rudolph tussled after a play ... followed by Garrett ripping off Mason's helmet and swinging it at his head.

After the game Garrett spoke about the incident -- "What I did was foolish, and I shouldn’t have allowed myself to slip like that," Garrett said ... "It’s out of character."

"I lost my cool and I regret it," he added ... "It’s going to come back to hurt our team. The guys who jumped into the scrum, I appreciate my team having my back, but it never should have gotten to that point."

Rudolph also commented ... saying, "I thought it was pretty cowardly and bush league."

"I’m not going to back down from any bully. I felt like I had a bone to pick with him. I appreciate the line always having my back, but I was angry."

We spoke with "Friday Night Lights" director Peter Berg after the game -- and he told us the scene looked like something out of "Game of Thrones."


As for punishment, Berg says a 4-game suspension is probably fair.

Other stars, like ex-NFL linebacker James Harrison, seem to be calling for harsher punishment.

"That’s assault at the least... 6 months in jail on the street.. now add the weapon and that’s at least a year right?!"

Originally Published -- 6:03 AM PT

Montae Nicholson Returns To Redskins Practice Amid Police Investigation

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NBC Sports Washington/@JPFinlayNBCS

10:52 AM PT -- Redskins head coach Bill Callahan says he is not sure if the ongoing investigation will prevent Nicholson from playing against the Jets this weekend.

"We're still gathering information," Callahan said. "And, we'll make that determination and decision as we move forward."

Washington Redskins

Callahan added he has not yet spoken with the safety on Friday over the incident.

Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson is back at practice ... this while an investigation into a 21-year-old woman's death continues.

Nicholson was one of two men who brought an unconscious and unresponsive woman to an E.R. in Ashburn, Virginia on Thursday at around 1:30 AM. Officials say the woman died at the hospital and all signs point to a drug overdose.

Nicholson has NOT been arrested or accused of any wrongdoing -- but officials are VERY curious about what happened before she arrived at the hospital. We're told Nicholson is cooperating with authorities as the investigation continues.

The 23-year-old defensive back had missed practice on Thursday to deal with the matter ... but on Friday, Nicholson was back with his team, wearing sweats and his #35 jersey.

Nicholson has yet to comment on the situation ... and it's unclear if he'll play this weekend against the New York Jets.

Redskins head coach Bill Callahan is expected to meet with the media and address the situation later on Friday. The team has said it is also cooperating with law enforcement.

Antonio Brown 8-Hour Meeting With NFL ... Over Rape Allegations

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Antonio Brown believes his 8-hour meeting with NFL officials Thursday over rape allegations went well -- and it's clear he expects to get back on the field soon.

The NFL had been trying to speak with the WR about the lawsuit filed in Sept. by his ex-trainer Britney Taylor, who claimed AB sexually assaulted her 3 times, including a violent rape in 2018.

"I'm told Antonio Brown's interview w/t NFL lasted approximately 8 hours, omitting breaks," ESPN's Josina Anderson says.

"Brown felt it went well, had a chance to share his reflections during the time he's been out of the game & was very responsive to all questions."

Brown was definitely in good spirits after the sit-down -- and went to social media to talk about his plans to work out later that night. Seems obvious he thinks he'll be back in the NFL.


Anderson says the NFL might conduct some follow-up interviews with Brown before making a decision about possible punishment.

AB has adamantly denied the allegations and vowed the fight the case in court.

Seems this probe went WAY better than the deposition Brown sat for in his Sept. -- when the WR allegedly went berserk while being questioned in his apartment-trashing case.

As we previously reported, Brown is being sued by his former apartment complex in Miami for allegedly trashing his place ... and in a deposition explaining his side, he was accused by the complex's attorneys of being "defiant" and "profane."

In fact, the meeting went so poorly ... AB has agreed to retake the depo later next month.

31-year-old Brown -- who was cut by the Patriots back in September -- is still an NFL free agent. The Seattle Seahawks reportedly looked into signing him earlier this month but inked Josh Gordon to a deal instead.