Cincinnati Bengals kick returner/defensive back Tremain Mack, in trouble with the NFL for a series of alcohol abuse arrests, will be allowed to play at least part of the season, the NFL yesterday told the team.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue met with Mack for two hours in New York Friday to review the player's status under the league's substance abuse policy.

Tagliabue is to decide in the next few weeks on a possible suspension or fine. In the meantime, Mack will be allowed to participate in the Bengals' preseason training camp which opens Friday in Georgetown, Ky., Bengals officials said.

Mack, a fourth-round pick in 1997 from the University of Miami, set Bengals season records last year for kickoff return yardage and average per return. He is the team's No. 1 returner and a backup defensive back.

He missed the final four games of last season when he went to jail after his second drunken driving arrest in the Cincinnati area. The suspension cost him approximately $62,000.

RAMS: Defensive tackle D'Marco Farr will miss at least a month after arthroscopic knee surgery.

Farr had the surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee yesterday morning at the McDonough County Hospital in Macomb, Ill.

Farr said he hurt the knee during the opening practice of the Rams' training camp Friday.

"It was the third pass rush rep I took, and I tried my old favorite spin move," Farr said. "I felt a sharp pain, and it was never the same after that."

BEARS: Chicago, which has held training camp at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for the last 16 years, signed a two-year agreement Friday to extend its stay, with a mutual option for a third year.

"The residents of Platteville have made us feel like we're at home," said Ted Phillips, the Bears' president and chief executive officer. "It's always difficult when you're far from home during the training camp period to feel welcome, and they've done a wonderful job of that. So we had no hesitancy in signing our agreement with Platteville."