Dwayne Bowe is set to start as wide receiver on Sunday night, according to Andy Reid, coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs’ wide-out was recently arrested for both speeding and the possession of a controlled substance (marijuana). Defending his decision not to bench Bowe for the game, coach Reid explained, “It’s a legal matter. That’s the way we’ll handle it [and] let it run its course there.”
Bowe was pulled over on Sunday for driving 48 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. During the encounter, the arresting officer noticed a strong odor of marijuana in Bowe’s car. While searching through Dwayne Bowe’s 2011Audi A-8, he discovered 16.8 grams of the substance and placed Bowe under arrest. Bowe’s passenger was also arrested for possession of a controlled substance. After posting a bond of $750 late Sunday night, Bowe was released from jail.
In the first year of a hefty contract worth $56 million and set to last for five years, Bowe’s 33 catches ranks him as second on the Chiefs while his 369 receiving yards put him in third place, making him a valuable asset to the offense. Through a statement issued by the team, Dwayne Bowe apologized today to his teammates, the team owners, coach Andy Reid, and Kansas City Chiefs fans. Despite appearing in practice, he was unavailable for questions.
In 2009, Bowe was assessed a four-game suspension for violating the National Football League (NFL)’s performance-enhancing drug policy. His recent arrest will not be counted as a second offense by the league, as recreational drug use is under a different category in the rule book. Any discipline brought by the NFL will fall under the substance abuse policy of the league.
It is assumed that part of the reason for Reid’s decision to start Dwayne Bowe on Sunday night is the fact that he is restricted from doing much of anything. Under league rules, the Chiefs are not allowed to punish him before the NFL hands down its own punishment. The NFL, in turn, is restricted from meting out any sort of discipline until the criminal case has been settled.
In addition, the Chiefs need Bowe’s playmaking ability on Sunday, when the undefeated Chiefs squad plays their long-time rivals, The Denver Broncos, on a nationally televised broadcast. The Broncos, who are 8-1, are looking to end the Chief’s hopes of a perfect season and are already highly favored in Vegas to do so. Added to that pressure is the national stage of Sunday Night Football and it is clear that any distractions to the team at this time are not welcome.
Reid downplayed the possibility of Bowe’s arrest causing any problems this Sunday, maintaining that the team’s only focus is on the Broncos game. It better be, because if the Chiefs do lose their first game of the season on Sunday night, the decision to start Dwayne Bowe will be a charged topic on sports radio on Monday, with angry fans who had hoped to be the second team in history to go undefeated questioning the move.
By Jennifer Pfalz