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Owens involved in locker-room fight with Hugh Douglas
Owens involved in fight with Hugh Douglas
Jay Glazer / FOXSports.com
The Terrell Owens' saga has taken perhaps its most absurd turn yet. While he was suspended for comments made Thursday, that was not his most outrageous action of that day.
NFL Insider Jay Glazer gives the story of T.O.'s locker room fight. After trading punches in the training room, the suspended wide receiver challenged the entire locker room.
Owens actually fought former Pro Bowl defensive end and current Eagles "ambassador" Hugh Douglas in the team's rehab room last week and then issued a challenge to fight several other teammates afterward. The Trenton Times first reported the story Sunday morning.
Those present told FOXSports.com, while Owens was in the pool rehabilitating his injured ankle, Douglas came into the area and began to get on the outspoken wide receiver. The two jawed back and forth before, believe it or not, Owens got out of the pool and went to get his sneakers on in order to get traction to throw some blows.
When he came back, with shoes on, Owens and Douglas started swinging. Douglas said both sides only threw a couple punches and none landed.
Several players, most getting treatment, tried to separate the pair, but Owens started throwing those players off of him to get at Douglas again. Owens shed his teammates and kept going after Douglas before L.J. Smith got Douglas into another area. One swing by Owens was described as a shot that would have done major damage had it landed.
The fight, which was deemed "unbelievable" by some present, is just the latest tale in the bizarre soap opera that has been Owens' season. However, Owens' bizarre afternoon didn't end there.
Following his fight with Douglas, a still-amped Owens walked into the locker room and issued a challenge to fight any player who wants to continue to talk behind his back. Although there were several players in the locker room, most believed his challenge was directed toward quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Basically, Owens said, and this is to paraphrase, that anyone else who talks behind his back who wants to step up should do it now, this is the time to take him on and he could handle it the way he did with Douglas. When nobody moved from their stools, Owens said something to the effect of, "That's what I thought" and walked out.
On his radio show Sunday night, Douglas confirmed no punches landed and didn't discuss further details.
"It's not something you're proud of, so why should I glorify it?" Douglas said on WIP-AM.
Owens was not with Philadelphia on Sunday night for its 17-10 loss to the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. Eagles president Joe Banner said coach Andy Reid would meet with the player in the coming week.
"Andy will basically figure out where we go from here," Banner said during an impromptu news conference on the Eagles' sideline before kickoff, according to the Associated Press. "He indicated to T.O. that he'd talk to him later this week and give him a more definitive status report."
Banner wouldn't answer questions about how long the suspension would last, whether he expected Owens to play for Philadelphia again or what the specific reason was for the punishment. But Banner did say the suspension is without pay. Owens is scheduled to make $3.5 million in base salary this season, so the suspension would cost him more than $200,000 per game.
"There's an accumulation of events culminating with a series of things last week, including the very public interview that he did," Banner said. "I think there's a long list of things, some of which you know about and some of which aren't public."
Asked if Owens will play again for the Eagles, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told WSVN-TV: "I don't know. We're going to have to see what the Eagles decide. Everything is very much up in the air right now. The Eagles have said that they'll think about it. They're going to make some determination as to what their plans are. Right now, this is indefinite."
This is not the first time Owens and Douglas got into a heated exchange, although it's the first time punches were thrown. During training camp, FOXSports.com first reported that Owens and Douglas had a verbal altercation in an elevator with McNabb regarding the trio's tumultuous relationship. At the time, Douglas threatened to hit Owens but didn't follow through.
Saturday, the team suspended Owens indefinitely and while the team has made no absolute decision on his future, several Eagles say they find it hard to believe he will ever rejoin the team. However, coach Andy Reid has not said this yet and some also believe that as long as he gives a true apology to McNabb and the team he may be allowed back. However, it's difficult to believe that Owens would conform to this.
Terrell Owens will have to sit out today's game "for conduct detrimental to the team." (Rusty Kennedy / Associated Press)
The team suspended him Saturday for what they deemed "conduct detrimental to the team." According to sources, Reid wanted an apology from Owens publicly and then an apology to the team. Owens, sources say, was suspended because he couldn't conform with Reid's portion of the request to apologize to his team.
The apology he was looking for were a direct result of comments he made regarding the team's lack of public recognition of his 100th career TD catch a couple of weeks ago.
"I've had an opportunity to talk with the Eagles organization and I have learned that the team does not recognize individual achievements," Owens said in a prepared statement Friday. "It has been brought to my attention that I have offended the organization and my teammates. Therefore, I would like to apologize for any derogatory comments toward them."
The brawl with Douglas and the ensuing challenge to his teammates to another fight was just another incident that has "worn us all out" according to teammates. Several teammates truly like Owens and all respect his play, but many others inside the locker room and organization are simply exhausted by the weekly soap opera that has become what seems like a scheduled distraction.
The team may elect to go the Keyshawn Johnson route — pay him to stay away.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.