Bears' Harris apologizes for incident

Updated: November 9, 2009, 6:39 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris said he's embarrassed and apologized for punching Arizona Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui in the head early in the Cards' 41-21 win at Soldier Field on Sunday.

"I was embarrassed, especially for my actions," Harris said. "I apologized to him [Lutui] yesterday, [and] I called Larry [Fitzgerald] and had a chance to apologize to him.

"I just want to apologize to my fans first off, and the little kids out there that saw that action. I shouldn't behave in the manner. I apologize to my teammates, and I'll make up for it."

Since Harris ducked out of the locker room without addressing the subject Sunday, this was the first time he offered an explanation for what led him to hit Lutui on the fourth play of the game.

"He did some unnecessary stuff during the game," Harris said. "But I still have to be able to control myself.

"In the six years I've been here, I've never done anything like that. He kind of pushed me to my limits. It was a combination of two plays, it just didn't happen on that one play."

Harris said he hasn't spoken with Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, but did have a conversation with head coach Lovie Smith.

"[Smith told me] that wasn't the right thing to do, and they're going to take care of whatever they have to with the league," Harris said.

Smith said Monday, "No excuse. Whenever you do something to get kicked out of a football game, a tough game like that where you need everyone, it's never a good thing. Tommie realizes he screwed up." Does the defensive tackle expect a suspension from the NFL?

"I don't know. I don't know," Harris responded. "I just show up and come to work like it's a regular work week, and see what [the league has] to say."

Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer said losing Harris for another game would be detrimental to the Bears.

"Tommie's a great player," Hillenmeyer said. "When Tommie's at his best, he's one of the best players in the NFL. With that potential comes a responsibility for this team. When he's not out there, that hurts us."

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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