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Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chiefs will bench Johnson again

October 23, 2008

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— Saying he was "kind of disgusted with myself," a nervous-looking Larry Johnson apologized Wednesday for behavior that's led to an NFL investigation and to his benching for a second straight week.

"I want to start off saying I apologize to the Hunt family, my family, first and foremost, the fans, teammates, coaches and players," said Kansas City's two-time Pro Bowl running back.

"This is the first time in my life I actually had to stand up, I mean actually woke up and kind of be disgusted with myself and disgusted as far as the way my life and my career is heading right now."

Johnson followed coach Herm Edwards to the podium, spoke without notes and left without taking questions. Edwards had announced a few minutes earlier that Johnson would be benched, not suspended, for a second straight week.

Johnson did not play last week against Tennessee as punishment for violating team rules. Since then, it's been disclosed that police and the NFL are investigating a report that Johnson spat several times on a woman at a Kansas City nightclub.

He's also facing a December hearing in connection with a simple assault allegation involving another woman in February at another nightspot. It's the fourth time in five years he's been accused of assaulting a woman.

Edwards said the benching this week was his decision and unrelated to whatever penalty the NFL might eventually hand down.

In his brief remarks, Johnson made no specific mention of his legal difficulties. There have been no charges filed in the latest allegation.

"I can't speak no more further on the legal issues other than to say the truth will come to the light," he said.

Johnson's continuing troubles were only part of the bad news the Chiefs (1-5) were dealing with. Edwards also announced that his top two quarterbacks, Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard, both suffered season-ending injuries in last week's 34-10 loss to Tennessee. Croyle is gone because of a severe injury to his left knee, and Huard is joining him on injured reserve due to an injury to his right hand.

Third-teamer Tyler Thigpen, who threw three interceptions in a blowout loss to Atlanta this year in his only NFL start, will start at the New York Jets on Sunday and be backed up by Ingle Martin.

Martin was signed in September off Tennessee's practice squad and has not played all year. The Chiefs signed Quinn Gray, a former Jacksonville backup, on Wednesday, but do not expect him to be ready to play for at least a couple of weeks.

And as if all that weren't enough for a team that's been blown out in three games already, the Chiefs also disclosed that punter Dustin Colquitt is nursing a groin injury and may not play this week. Besides tight end Tony Gonzalez, Colquitt has been Kansas City's only consistent performer, ranking second among all NFL punters.

As punting insurance, Steve Weatherford was claimed on waivers from New Orleans.

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