KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dwayne Bowe deftly avoided the locker room full of prying TV cameras, finally emerging onto the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice field Wednesday as if nothing was amiss.
The former Pro Bowl wide receiver spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for Sunday night’s AFC West showdown against the Broncos, a game in which he’ll start despite a weekend arrest for speeding and possession of marijuana.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that he intends to let the legal situation run its course, but he made it clear that Bowe will be in the starting lineup for the unbeaten Chiefs.
“There are rules and regulations put in place and we’ll abide by the rules and regulations, and we’ll make sure we take all of the information that comes out as it goes through the process,” Reid said. “That’s where we’re going with it.”
Bowe did not speak to reporters, instead issuing a statement in which he apologized “for the distraction I have caused the team this week.”
“Due to the nature of the pending matter, I am unable to make any further comment on the situation,” Bowe’s statement said.
According to police, Bowe’s wallet was discovered along with two containers that held about one-third of an ounce of suspected marijuana. Bowe was cited for speeding and possession of a controlled substance. He posted $750 bond and faces a Dec. 18 court appearance.
Kevin Regan, an attorney for Bowe, said Bowe is innocent and “we look forward to clearing his good name at our earliest opportunity.”
“He is grateful for the support shown by Chiefs fans and promises this incident will not be a distraction to his commitment to excellence on the football field,” Regan said.
The Chiefs were off last week before beginning their preparations for Denver.
“I addressed him, had that opportunity to talk to him, and I’ll leave it at that,” Reid said. “There are laws, rules and regulations, and I’ll leave it at that.”
Reid did say that Bowe has been a model teammate.
“Dwayne’s been a team player since I’ve been here,” Reid said. “He doesn’t want to bring any problems to the table. That’s not what he wants to do.”
It is unlikely Bowe will be disciplined until after his court date. While the Chiefs are barred from disciplining the former Pro Bowl wide receiver for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the past has handed down one-game suspensions and fines of an additional game check for similar cases.
Bowe, who signed five-year, $56 million deal in the offseason, has struggled to live up to the expectations that come with being one of the game’s best-paid wide receivers. He’s second on the team with 33 catches for 369 yards and two touchdowns during the Chiefs’ 9-0 start.
This isn’t the first time that Bowe has proven to be a distraction.
He was suspended four games in 2009 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs after taking what his agent called an unapproved weight-loss supplement. He also made questionable comments to a magazine a few years ago about womanizing that allegedly occurred at team hotels, and then misstated the name of Chiefs ownership family in his apology.
Now in his seventh season, Bowe is second in franchise history with 448 catches, trailing only former tight end Tony Gonzalez. He has 6,078 yards receiving, sixth-most in team history, and 41 touchdown catches, fifth-most in Chiefs history.
With the specter of a high-profile showdown against Denver hanging over the locker room, Chiefs players were reticent to discuss Bowe’s arrest during Tuesday’s availability.
Quarterback Alex Smith guided the conversation back to the Broncos any time the topic was broached, though he did say players with larger contracts have an obligation to be leaders.
“It’s a lot different than the collegiate level or the high school level. When you get to the NFL, there’s a lot that comes with it,” Smith said. “We have a bunch of guys that are focused on winning, doing things the right way.”
Cornerback Brandon Flowers sidestepped questions about Bowe’s arrest, saying only that “there are no distractions at all. I can promise you that.”
Veteran linebacker Tamba Hali likewise deflected questions back to the Broncos game.
“He knows we’re here for him. We practice with him every day,” Hali said. “Again, a situation like that, it’s far beyond us. We just want to continue to focus on what we’ve got here. It’s a legal matter. We just want that process to take care of itself.”