Everett's locker cleaned out because of space crunch
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have gone through so many players already that they ran out of space in their locker room. And that meant clearing out Kevin Everett's locker -- something coach Dick Jauron said a week earlier wouldn't happen.
Jauron wasn't initially aware the injured tight end's locker had been cleaned out. After checking with the team's equipment staff, Jauron said space was an issue.
He said he was also informed that running back Anthony Thomas received permission to pack up Everett's belongings and ship them to Houston, where the player was transferred last week to begin the next step of rehabilitation from a severe spinal cord injury.
Thomas is a close friend of Everett's and has been helping pack up the player's apartment in Buffalo.
"We've got a lot of people coming in and out, so they might have needed the locker," Jauron said. "But it doesn't have anything to do with not remembering Kevin."
Only a week earlier, Jauron said it was important to the team that Everett's locker remain intact.
"Kevin knows that he's a part of this team and everybody else on the team knows it, too," Jauron said last week. "It's the way it is and the way it'll be. It definitely serves a purpose to keep him right in front of us in that locker room. And we'll keep it that way."
Everett's locker had been kept intact since he was hurt in the Bills' season opener against Denver. His helmet hung from one hook, his practice jersey from another, and a staff member made sure to place the team's weekly schedule on Everett's stool every Monday, including two days ago.
That changed Wednesday, the next time the media were allowed into the locker room. Offensive lineman Brad Butler had taken over what had been Everett's stall.
Space became an issue after the Bills placed their seventh player -- reserve offensive lineman Jason Whittle -- on injured reserve Wednesday.
With an eight-player practice squad, some of whom are sharing lockers, and some of their injured-reserve players still being treated in Buffalo, Everett's locker proved the odd one out.
Tight end Robert Royal noted that space was an issue.
"At some point, with the amount of players, we had to do something because of the numbers, but we'll never forget about Kevin," Royal said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press