Johnson will not play for second straight week; Thigpen to start at QB
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Saying he was "kind of disgusted with myself," a nervous-looking Larry Johnson apologized Wednesday for behavior that has led to an NFL investigation and to his benching for a second straight week.
"I want to start off saying I apologize to the Hunt family, my family, first and foremost, the fans, teammates, coaches and players," Kansas City's two-time Pro Bowl running back said.
"This is the first time in my life I actually had to stand up, I mean actually woke up and kind of be disgusted with myself and disgusted as far as the way my life and my career is heading right now."
Johnson followed coach Herm Edwards to the podium, spoke without notes and left without taking questions. Edwards had announced a few minutes earlier that Johnson would be benched, not suspended, for a second straight week.
Johnson did not play last week against Tennessee as punishment for violating team rules. Since then, it's been disclosed that police and the NFL are investigating a report that Johnson spat several times on a woman at a Kansas City nightclub.
He's also facing a December hearing in connection with a simple assault allegation involving another woman in February at another nightspot. It's the fourth time in five years he's been accused of assaulting a woman.
Edwards said the benching this week was his decision and unrelated to whatever penalty the NFL might eventually hand down.
In his brief remarks, Johnson made no specific mention of his legal difficulties. There have been no charges filed in the latest allegation.
"I can't speak any further on the legal issues other than to say the truth will come to the light," he said.
"And I promise not only to the fans, not only to teammates, players, coaches, GMs and my own family that I do anticipate seeking help to get better as far as getting my life on track, knowing what I want out of this life, not necessarily football, and just work as hard as I can not only being a good football player but obviously being a son of the National Football League, a son of my own family, hopefully a brother, a future father, future husband."
He promised to work hard "to get my life back on track and know that I and I alone put myself in these critical situations and environments to where things don't come out favorably to me. All I can do is promise to you guys and to people who are watching that as a man, I'm still growing and as a man everyone makes mistakes.
"In times of darkness, you've got to look for the light and that's what I plan on doing, regardless of what suspensions and fines are being handed down. I will take them as sincerely as they give them out."
Johnson's continuing troubles were only part of the bad news the Chiefs (1-5) were dealing with. Edwards also announced that his top two quarterbacks, Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard, both suffered season-ending injuries in last week's 34-10 loss to Tennessee.
Croyle is gone with a severe injury to his left knee, and Huard is joining him on injured reserve with an injury to his right hand.
Martin was signed in September off Tennessee's practice squad and has not played all year. The Chiefs signed Quinn Gray, a former Jacksonville backup, on Wednesday, but do not expect him to be ready to play for at least a couple of weeks.
And as if all that weren't enough for a team that's been blown out in three games already, the Chiefs disclosed that punter Dustin Colquitt is nursing a groin injury and may not play this week. Besides tight end Tony Gonzalez, Colquitt has been Kansas City's only consistent performer, ranking second among all NFL punters.
As punting insurance, Steve Weatherford was claimed on waivers from New Orleans.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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