Archive for Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Haynesworth apologizes in phone call to Gurode

October 4, 2006

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— After dialing his number all day with no luck, Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth finally got the chance Tuesday to personally apologize to Andre Gurode for tearing open the Cowboys center's face with a cleat.

Haynesworth spent much of the day getting nothing but unanswered rings and a full voice mail box, then connected in the late afternoon with Gurode, who needed 30 stitches to repair the facial cuts.

"The purpose of the conversation was to apologize," said Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck.

Haynesworth was suspended five games without pay by the NFL - the longest-ever punishment in the NFL for on-field behavior - for kicking Gurode's helmet off, then swiping his cleated foot on his face while he lay on the ground. Speck said Haynesworth wouldn't appeal, even though the NFL Players Assn. wanted him to try.

"He said Sunday night he would accept the league's decision of what to do from a discipline standpoint, and that's what he's going to do," Speck said.

Haynesworth's agent gave the tackle's phone number to Gurode's agent and the Cowboys, hoping to connect the players. That finally happened, but Speck wouldn't detail the conversation and said he was leaving that to either Gurode or Haynesworth - if they choose.

The Dallas center plans to talk with his family about whether to press charges, his agent told Nashville police Monday.

Haynesworth's suspension was more than twice as long as the previous longest punishment for a player's misbehavior on the field. Green Bay lineman Charles Martin got two games for throwing Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon onto his shoulder in 1986.

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