Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens issued an apology yesterday for his latest verbal barrage against the team and quarterback Donovan McNabb in a television interview. But it was unclear if the incident would end there, as Eagles Coach Andy Reid did not rule out the possibility of disciplining Owens.
Owens practiced for a second day in a row after re-injuring his surgically repaired right ankle during last Sunday's loss at Denver and sitting out Wednesday's practice, but Reid did not commit to having Owens in the lineup tomorrow night against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.
"We'll see how things go," Reid said during a midday news conference, then repeated that phrase when asked to clarify whether Owens would play. Reid said the matter would be handled "in-house."
Asked whether he would consider suspending Owens, Reid said: "We'll see how things go. I'm still in the middle of addressing the whole issue and finding out all the information along with communicating with the player. That's the way I'll keep it. That's, right now, between T.O. and myself . . . and this football team."
Reid dismissed Owens from the club for a week during training camp after the two had a verbal confrontation over Owens refusing to speak to the team's assistant coaches and declining to participate in an autograph session for fans. Owens was publicly critical of the team and McNabb during an offseason contract dispute in which the club refused to renegotiate his seven-year, nearly $49 million contract after one season.
During an interview with ESPN on Thursday, Owens criticized the Eagles for failing during a recent game to acknowledge his 100th career touchdown catch, saying it was "an embarrassment" and "shows the lack of class they had." He also said the team might be undefeated if Brett Favre was its quarterback. The defending NFC champion will take a 4-3 record into tomorrow's game.
Yesterday Owens walked into an auditorium at the Eagles' training facility and read a written apology. He left without answering reporters' questions.
"I've had an opportunity to talk with the Eagles organization and I've learned that the team does not recognize individual achievements," Owens said. "It has been brought to my attention that I have offended the organization and my teammates. Therefore, I would like to apologize for any derogatory comments toward them."
Owens said during his ESPN interview he believed early this week that his sprained ankle would keep him from playing against the Redskins, but he had become convinced that he probably would be able to play Sunday.
McNabb participated in the Eagles' practice yesterday after sitting out practice Wednesday and Thursday. The quarterback suffered bruised ribs against the Broncos, and has been playing with a sports hernia. Reid said he expects McNabb to play against the Redskins. He also indicated that he expects defensive end Jevon Kearse, who has a sprained shoulder but practiced yesterday, and kicker David Akers, who's returning from a torn hamstring muscle, to play.