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NFL: Jets DE queried for role in dispute

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 20, 2002

NEW YORK -- Police are investigating the role of Jets' rookie Bryan Thomas in a dispute with his girlfriend at LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday.

Thomas would not comment on the matter Thursday before he joined the team for practice. But his agents and an attorney met with Jets officials Wednesday.

"We are aware of the allegations and, at this time, we're gathering more information," Jets general manager Terry Bradway said.

The New York Post reported that Thomas punched Geovanda Williams several times during an argument in a parking lot at the airport. Williams was flying back to her home in Birmingham, Ala., where Thomas was a college star. The defensive end was the first-round draft pick by the Jets.

BEARS: Alfonso Boone played junior college football, wasn't drafted until next-to-last in 2000 and started his first season on a practice squad. Now, he's a starter, replacing injured Ted Washington at defensive tackle Sunday against the Saints. The 6-foot-5, 365-pound Washington, a four-time Pro Bowl player, is probably out for the season with a ruptured ligament in his left foot. That leaves the job to Boone, who played defensive end at Mount San Antonio Junior College and was taken with the 253rd overall pick by Detroit.

BILLS: Right tackle Mike Williams slightly hyperextended his left knee but is expected to play at Denver this weekend.

BRONCOS: Former running back Terrell Davis had microfracture surgery on his left knee. The surgery is expected to improve his quality of life. Davis, who has had three surgeries on his left knee and reconstructive surgery on his right knee, was placed on the injured reserve list Aug. 20. Shortly before that, he said he was ending his career because of his injuries.

BROWNS: Butch Davis has not announced whether Tim Couch, sidelined the past two weeks with a sore elbow, will return to the lineup, or if Kelly Holcomb will start his third straight game. "I think what we'll probably do is wait for the winner of the Middle Tennessee State-Kentucky game," joked Davis, referring to his quarterbacks' alma maters who'll play Saturday in Lexington. "And the winner of that game, the other guy gets to start." Couch was upgraded from questionable to probable and is expected to make his first start of the season against the Titans.

CARDINALS: Running back Thomas Jones, wide receiver David Boston and offensive tackle L.J.Shelton sat out practice with ankle problems. They said they will play in Sunday's home opener. The bigger concern could be on defense, where starting cornerbacks Duane Starks and David Barrett are hurting. Starks left practice with a sore hamstring. Barrett said he has a bulging disc in his lower back.

FALCONS: Linebacker Keith Brooking and Atlanta have discontinued talks on a contract extension. Pat Dye Jr., who represents the alternate Pro Bowl selection, indicated he and the Falcons will resume when the season ends.

49ERS: Defensive starters Jeff Ulbrich (knee) and Zack Bronson (shoulder) returned to practice and are expected to play Sunday. Pro Bowl offensive linemen Ron Stone and Jeremy Newberry were held out with minor injuries, but both also are expected to return.

PACKERS: Chester "Swede" Johnston, a former running back, died. He was 92. Johnston, believed to be the oldest living Green Bay player, played on the 1931 championship team and also was with the team from 1934-38, helping the Packers win another title in 1936.

PANTHERS: The team added free-agent kicker Jon Hilbert to replace the injured John Kasay. Hilbert was signed to the practice squad but will be activated to the 53-man roster once the Panthers make room on the roster. The team is considering placing Kasay on injured reserve, meaning he would be out for the season.

REDSKINS: Quarterback Shane Matthews convinced coach Steve Spurrier during practice that he is sufficiently healthy to start Sunday at San Francisco despite a bruised left shoulder. But Spurrier acknowledged one solid hit on Matthews' tender non-throwing shoulder could produce another switch to Danny Wuerffel.

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