Eagles suspend T.O. indefinitely for comments

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Oct 14, 2005

The Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday suspended Terrell Owens for an indefinite period for conduct detrimental to the team, a catch-all sanction that club officials decided to impose after deliberating much of Friday over how to address the latest flap with the loquacious wide receiver.

Owens will miss the Eagles' key Sunday night game against the Washington Redskins and it is uncertain when, or if, he will return to the team. Under terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement, a player can be suspended for a maximum of four contests for conduct detrimental to the team.

The suspension will cost Owens $205,882 for every game he misses, based on his salary of $3.5 million for this season.

It is not certain if Owens, who was suspended for a week in training camp, will appeal the latest sanction by Eagles officials. Agent Drew Rosenhaus did not immediately return messages on Saturday afternoon.

Rookie Reggie Brown, a second-round draft choice, is expected to replace Owens in the starting lineup.

Critical of quarterback Donovan McNabb and the Eagles' organization during an interview Thursday with ESPN.com, Owens issued a private apology to teammates on Friday, followed by a public apology in which he read a terse statement. One team source said Saturday, though, that Owens' apologies failed to fully comply with all of the conditions that club officials, including coach Andy Reid, had stipulated.

Even after the apology, team officials told ESPN.com on Friday afternoon and reiterated later in the evening that the situation with Owens was still under review, and hinted that a suspension remained a possibility. Said one team official at the time: "All options remain on the table."

The Eagles on Friday spent considerable time speaking with league officials and clarifying through the NFL Management Council various options. Owens was unavailable to the media after his Friday public apology, but did make his weekly appearance on a Miami radio station.

"Hey, if I am [suspended], I am," he said. "That would be a discredit to the team and obviously it would hurt the team. It would be a sad situation."

The suspension culminated another week of unrest with Owens. Early in the week, he apprised Philadelphia officials that he had sprained his ankle in last Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos, and might require some time off. One day later, he was back at practice and seemingly prepared to play against the Redskins on Sunday night, at least before the latest incendiary incident.

In seven games this season, Owens has 47 catches for 763 yards and six touchdowns.

This is the second time Owens has been suspended during his controversial 10-year career. In 2000, he was suspended one game by San Francisco coach Steve Mariucci following his touchdown celebrations on the Dallas Cowboys' star logo at the center of Texas Stadium.