Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe will start Sunday at Denver following his arrest for alleged marijuana possession — a “distraction” for which Bowe apologized on Wednesday — and an attorney for Bowe proclaimed his innocence.
“My investigation reveals that Dwayne Bowe is unequivocally, 100 percent innocent in this matter,” attorney Kevin E.J. Regan said in a statement released to The Star on Wednesday. “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.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said during his news conference Wednesday that Bowe, who was arrested Sunday for allegedly speeding and possessing more than 10 grams of marijuana, would play in his regular role Sunday night at Denver when the 9-0 Chiefs play the 8-1 Broncos at 7:30 p.m. on NBC.
“Dwayne’s been a team player since I’ve been here,” Reid said, adding that he would let Bowe’s legal matter run its course.
Bowe was not made available to reporters Wednesday, but he issued a statement through the team.
“I apologize to the Hunt Family, Coach Reid, my teammates and Chiefs fans for the distraction I have caused the team this week,” he said. “Due to the nature of the pending matter I am unable to make any further comment on the situation.”
Bowe was stopped shortly before midnight Sunday by a Riverside police officer who spotted Bowe’s 2011 Audi A8 traveling 48 mph in a 35 mph zone at West Platte Road and Northwest Business Park. The officer arrested Bowe after finding a black bag holding Bowe’s wallet and driver’s license and two containers of what the officer suspected to be marijuana. Bowe later told the officer his brother “probably placed it in his bag.”
Bowe was cited for speeding and possession of a controlled substance. Bond was set at $750. He is scheduled to appear in municipal court Dec. 18.
The NFL’s substance-abuse policy prohibits players from illegally possessing several drugs, including marijuana, and allows the league to suspend players without pay for up to four regular and/or postseason games for a first-time violation that does not involve alcohol.
The league, however, may choose to wait until Bowe’s December court date before taking action in the wake of this latest incident, and the collective-bargaining agreement prohibits clubs from imposing discipline against a player for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Article 42, Section 6 reads: “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 …”
By saying Wednesday the Chiefs intend to abide by NFL rules, Reid perhaps was hinting at the impact the collective-bargaining agreement had on the Chiefs’ decision to let Bowe play until his case is settled.
“We’ll abide by the rules and regulations and make sure we take all the information as it goes through the process,” Reid said.
Reid declined to say when the team discovered Bowe’s infraction. Reid was confident the situation would not have a negative effect on his team.
“I’m sure the question will come up about the Dwayne part being a distraction,” Reid said. “But this football team is focused solely on the Denver Broncos.”
Reid went to great lengths to make that clear Wednesday, often steering his answers back to objective at hand. For instance, when asked later if the incident would affect Bowe’s standing in the locker room, Reid began to speak, rather carefully, before pivoting.
“No. I’m not …” Reid said before briefly pausing. “Let’s get back to the Broncos.”
Several of Reid’s players, including cornerback Brandon Flowers, quarterback Alex Smith and outside linebacker Tamba Hali, were of the same mind-set. All insisted the Chiefs won’t allow Bowe’s legal issue to become a problem on Sunday.
“The way we look at that situation, it’s a public situation, and he’s in a little bind right now, and there’s not much we can do about it,” Hali said. “We just hope everything works out for Dwayne. It’s not a distraction for us. Our focus is on Denver.”The Star’s Randy Covitz contributed to this report.