Paying the Price: Bills' WR fined for missing practice
"It'll cost him a good deal of money," coach Dick Jauron said after Price rejoined the Bills for their two practices Monday. Jauron did not disclose the amount the player was fined, but said it was within the limits of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.
Referring to Price's absence as "a dumb mistake," Jauron said he accepted the player's reason for missing the team's walkthrough Sunday. Jauron said Price informed him that he had mistakenly referred to the previous week's schedule, when the Bills only had a team meeting Aug. 13.
"Apparently he was reading the schedule from the week before, but he was clearly the only one reading the wrong schedule," Jauron said. "I'm not worried in his case that it signals something else, something, I don't know what the right word is. He just made a mistake."
Added Jauron: "It's hard to figure out how it happened, but we know it happens."
Price said he was at home in Buffalo and didn't realize the Bills had a practice at their training camp site in suburban Rochester until receivers coach Tyke Tolbert reached him by phone.
"I told him, 'I could be back in an hour, but you'll be off the field,'" said Price, who arrived at camp later Sunday. "It was kind of funny afterward, but the initial call, it was like, 'Oh, no.' But it's all good."
A seven-year NFL veteran, Price is back with the Bills after he signed with the team as a free agent in April. He spent his first four seasons with Buffalo and is attempting to jump-start his career after three disappointing seasons -- the first two in Atlanta and part of last year with Dallas.
He's slotted as Buffalo's No. 2 receiver behind Lee Evans.
Although Price has made a good impression during camp, he's not had a reception in Buffalo's first two preseason games.
Price's absence raised speculation that he might be frustrated, something the player discounted.
"Nah, I'm not mad or frustrated. I guess that's what the word was, huh?" Price said. "Even if I was mad or frustrated, I'd still come to practice. I might voice my opinions to the powers that be, but I'm not going to miss practice. That's stupid."
He added he's not unhappy about his lack of production so far.
"I'm having a great time. I don't have any problems," Price said. "If I'm sitting here after Week 2 in the regular season, yeah, I might have an issue. But this is preseason, trying to make it through healthy and get better each week."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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