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'Accidental overdose'

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 29, 2006


IRVING, Texas - Dallas police classified Terrell Owens' case as an "accidental overdose," not attempted suicide, closing its investigation Thursday of the Cowboys receiver's hospitalization.

Chief David Kunkle said he had "great confidence" in the initial report, which said rescue workers responded Tuesday night to an attempted "suicide by prescription pain medication."

The report said Owens' publicist, Kim Etheredge, described him as being depressed and indicated he said "Yes" when rescue workers asked whether he had tried to harm himself.

Owens said Wednesday that he mistakenly mixed the painkillers for a broken finger with supplements he ordinarily takes, causing him to become groggy and incoherent.

Within two hours of his hospital release Wednesday morning, Owens was catching passes at team headquarters. He went through a full practice Thursday, his first since breaking the finger on his right hand on Sept. 17.

"I thought he caught the ball pretty good," backup quarterback Tony Romo said. "I expect him to be ready to go this weekend."

Although Owens looked fine in practice, Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said he might not decide until Saturday morning if Owens travels to Tennessee for Sunday's game, and he'll probably wait until that night to determine if he plays.

Parcells wants to evaluate all of the medical information he can get. That includes Owens' broken finger and possibly a mental evaluation.

"I have to, as the coach, rely on other people to keep me informed as to really what's going on," Parcells said. "I can't form my own independent opinion other than those involving, 'Is his hand functional and can he play on Sunday?' If my medical people tell me those things are in place, and then he looks like he's (okay), we'll make that consideration then."

Owens declined to speak with reporters, saying he did his talking Wednesday.

Bengals star, Pats coach talk trash

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Bill Belichick, New England's normally dour coach, stepped out of character to playfully jab at Bengals receiver Chad Johnson in anticipation of the teams' game Sunday.

Tuesday, Johnson pleaded with "Mr. Belichick" to let cornerback Asante Samuel, whom Johnson described as a good friend, cover him one on one.

"I won't score," Johnson said. "I'll stop at the 1 and go out of bounds or something."

Wednesday, Belichick, who called Johnson an "entertaining kid" with a "good sense of humor," responded.

"Tell him we'd cover him one on one all the time, but he pushes off more than any receiver in the league," he said with a grin. "He must be paying off the officials not to call it, so we're going to have to double-cover him some. ... Not that he can get open."

CHIEFS: Quarterback Trent Green said he will miss at least two more games because of the severe concussion that left him unconscious Sept. 10.

COLTS: Receiver Reggie Wayne returned to practice and is expected to play Sunday. He flew to Louisiana on Sunday night after his brother, Rashad, was killed in a traffic accident.

EAGLES: Four starters and a key backup missed practice. Cornerback Lito Sheppard, (sprained ankle) and backup Rod Hood (strained heel) are doubtful for Monday. Safety Brian Dawkins (concussion), receiver Donte' Stallworth (strained hamstring) and running back Brian Westbrook (swelled knee) are questionable.

JAGUARS: Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud (sore ankle) and guard Chris Naeole (sprained knee) were upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday.

INTERNATIONAL GAMES: Owners next month will consider playing two games a year outside the United States, starting with Canada, Mexico, Britain and Germany. Under the plan, which would go into effect for next season, each team would lose only one home game every 16 years. And games could be scheduled so that the teams would get a bye the next week.