Chiefs’ Bowe will start Sunday; attorney says he’s innocent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe indeed will start Sunday night’s crucial game at Denver, and he also, through his attorney, proclaimed his innocence from last weekend’s charges of speeding and possession of marijuana.
 
A massive turnout of media swarmed the Chiefs’ practice facility Wednesday to hear coach Andy Reid address Bowe’s situation.
 
Reid opened his weekly Wednesday session by immediately discussing the Bowe matter.
 
“It is a legal matter and that’s the way we’ll handle it,” he said. “We’ll let it run its course there.
 
“Dwayne will play, he’ll start. There are rules and regulations in place, and we’ll abide by the rules and regulations and take all the information in as it goes through the process here.”
 
Meanwhile, Bowe’s attorney, Kevin E.J. Regan, issued a statement to Kansas City media outlets.
 
“My investigation reveals that Dwayne Bowe is unequivocally, 100 percent innocent in the matter,” the statement read. “We look forward to clearing his good name at our earliest opportunity.
 
“Mr. Bowe has long been a giving member of our community, and he remains committed to giving Kansas City his best on and off the field. He is grateful for the support shown by Chiefs fans and promises this incident will not be a distraction to his commitment to excellence on the football field.
 
“We will have no further comment on this matter at this time.”
 
Bowe, who was not available in the locker room, also issued a statement through the Chiefs’ media relations department:
 
“I apologize to the Hunt family, coach Reid, my teammates and Chiefs fans for the distraction I have caused the team this week. Due to the nature of the pending matter, I am unable to make any further comment on the situation.”

Bowe was pulled over by police in his 2011 Audi A8 on Sunday in the northern Kansas City suburb of Riverside, Mo., for allegedly traveling 48 mph in a 35-mph zone.

Bowe then was arrested after an officer discovered a black bag containing Bowe’s wallet and driver’s license and two containers suspected to contain marijuana.

Bowe was taken into custody and later released from the Riverside Police Department after a $750 bond was posted. His court date is scheduled for Dec. 18.
 
Reid would not indicate when he learned of Bowe’s arrest. But Bowe did practice Monday, and Reid suggested the Chiefs do not have the authority to suspend or discipline Bowe.
 
The rules governing discipline on substance-abuse violations within the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the Players Association seem to support Reid’s assertion.
 
In article 42, section 6 of the CBA, it states, “No Club may impose any discipline against a player, including but not limited to terminating the player’s Player Contract, as a result of that Player’s violation of … the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or for failing any drug test…”
 
The CBA language would not seem to prevent the Chiefs from allowing Bowe to suit up, but not play him on Sunday.
 
But Reid did not address if sitting Bowe was a consideration.
 
“It’s a legal matter … let’s talk about the Broncos, let’s get on to that,” Reid said.
 
The Chiefs, 9-0, play the 8-1 Broncos on Sunday night in the biggest game for Kansas City since the playoff game against the Ravens after the 2010 regular season.
 
Predictably, the Chiefs’ locker room Wednesday was populated by only a dozen or so players, and all were hesitant to address the Bowe situation.
 
“We support all of our teammates,” linebacker Derrick Johnson said.
 
Linebacker Tamba Hali said he had not spoken to Bowe directly to offer support.
 
“I don’t have to,” Hali said. “He knows he has our support.”
 
Bowe could still face a four-game suspension from the league this season, though it is likely that wouldn’t occur until after the Dec. 18 court date. And it seems likely that Bowe’s attorney will push for a continuance of the court date until perhaps after the season.
 
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email jeffreyflanagan6@gmail.com.