The Buffalo Bills suspended wide receiver Eric Moulds for one game without pay because of a sideline disagreement with an assistant coach during last weekend's loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The Bills announced the disciplinary action after Moulds met yesterday with Coach Mike Mularkey and team owner Ralph Wilson. Mularkey had said earlier in the week that he'd told Moulds not to attend the club's practices Wednesday or yesterday.
"Eric hasn't practiced this week, so he won't be ready to play Sunday," Wilson said, according to the Associated Press. "He is suspended for one game without pay. From there on, he'll be back and will play the final three games of the season, which I hope we'll do better than we have so far."
The Bills play the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Moulds, the second-leading receiver in franchise history, sat out most of the 24-23 loss to the Dolphins, which dropped the Bills' record to 4-8. He told Buffalo's WKBW-TV on Wednesday that he exchanged words on the sideline with Bills wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert.
"I was supposed to be in the game at a certain time, and the coach wanted Sam Aiken [another Bills wideout] in the game," Moulds said. "It all escalated from that, and me and my coach got into a verbal argument on the sideline."
There were reports this week that Moulds refused to re-enter the game, perhaps because he was concerned about a sore Achilles' tendon that he wanted to have checked out by the team's medical staff.
The suspension will cost Moulds $88,235 of his $1.5 million salary for this season. Under the sport's collective bargaining agreement, a player can be suspended for up to four games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team. The Philadelphia Eagles suspended wide receiver Terrell Owens for four games and deactivated him for the final five games of this season after a series of transgressions, and arbitrator Richard Bloch upheld the penalties after they were challenged by the NFL Players Association.
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