Bridges deactivated after second arrest, additional punishment unknown

Updated: December 8, 2008, 9:22 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers reserve offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges was deactivated for Monday's game against Tampa Bay, a day after he was arrested for the second time in 16 months.

Bridges was not at Bank of America Stadium, but team officials would not say whether he'll face additional punishment.

Receiver D.J. Hackett was also inactive for Carolina, making Dwayne Jarrett the No. 3 receiver. For the Buccaneers, defensive tackle Jovan Haye did not dress because of a sore knee. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Ryan Sims.

Bridges was arrested late Sunday night and charged with two misdemeanor counts of simple assault and battery and one count of communicating threats in connection with a disturbance a night earlier at a Charlotte restaurant. He was released less than an hour later on $2,500 bond.

Bridges, who was with his wife celebrating their anniversary Saturday night, was accused of spraying champagne on other customers and getting into a dispute with a restaurant employee. A warrant was issued for his arrest Sunday.

Bridges has served as a backup at both tackle and guard. He started four games earlier this season because of injuries on the offensive line.

His latest brush with the law puts his future in doubt.

Bridges' first arrest with Carolina came a day before players reported to training camp last season, when he was charged with pointing a gun at a woman outside a strip club. The Panthers suspended him for the first two regular-season games.

He was later convicted of the misdemeanor assault charge, given a suspended 60-day jail sentence and ordered to perform community service. Bridges appealed, then dropped the case after the NFL decided not to further discipline him under the league's conduct policy.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said before Monday's game that the league was still gathering information, but acknowledged Bridges' second arrest could bring punishment.

"We were very clear the first offense is different than multiple offenses," Goodell said. "The policy considers that issue."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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