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Friday’s NFL roundup: Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe suspended for season opener

Associated Press

Kansas City, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was suspended for the season opener against Tennessee on Friday for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Bowe was pulled over for speeding in a Kansas City suburb on Nov. 10, and was arrested after police found a black bag containing his wallet, driver’s license and two containers of suspected marijuana. He later pleaded guilty to amended charges of defective equipment and littering, and his attorney said there was no admission of guilt for the marijuana charge, which was dismissed.

Bowe, who signed a five-year, $56 million deal last offseason, issued a statement through the NFL Players’ Association shortly after the suspension was announced.

“I made an error in judgment. I take responsibility for my mistake and it will not happen again,” he said. “I will be supporting my teammates in Week 1, and I cannot wait to get back on the field to help us win in Week 2 and beyond as we work toward our goal of winning the Super Bowl.”

The one-game suspension is in line with punishments that have been handed down by the league in similar cases. Bowe still will be eligible to participate in preseason practices and games.

The loss of Bowe, even for one game, is significant for the Chiefs, who have struggled to find reliable wide receivers for years. They have several young players trying to earn a job in training camp, but Donnie Avery provides the only other veteran presence in the entire corps.

“We are disappointed in the situation and will miss him on the field,” the Chiefs said in a statement, “but we support the league’s decision. The club will have no further comment.”

This isn’t the first time that the 30-year-old Bowe has proven to be a distraction.

He was suspended four games in 2009 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs after taking what his agent called an unapproved weight-loss supplement. He also made questionable comments to a magazine a few years ago about womanizing that allegedly occurred at team hotels, and then misstated the name of Chiefs ownership family in his apology.

Bowe struggled to adjust to new coach Andy Reid’s offense last season, catching just 57 passes for 673 yards and five touchdowns. But he showed up to training camp in better shape this fall, and Reid has expressed confidence that his top wide receiver will be able to bounce back.

Those efforts have been hampered by a recurring injury to one of his fingers. Bowe caught just one pass for 10 yards in the Chiefs’ preseason opener.

Friday’s games

(At) New England 42, Philadelphia 35: Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass after sitting out the first preseason game and the Patriots capitalized on four turnovers.

Brady’s backups also were sharp in their competition for the No. 2 quarterback job. Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes, and Ryan Mallett passed and ran for scores.

(At) New Orleans 31, Tennessee 24: Jimmy Graham caught two touchdown passes, celebrating both with banned celebratory dunks over the goal post, in the Saints’ victory.

With star quarterback Drew Brees resting his sore abdomen, Luke McCown started for New Orleans (2-0) and threw both of scoring passes to Graham. However, Graham’s celebrations drew penalty flags, and coach Sean Payton appeared annoyed after the second one, barking in Graham’s direction on the sideline. Ryan Griffin also had two TD passes for New Orleans.

Titans starter Jake Locker was 8 of 11 for 75 yards and a touchdown to Justin Hunter.

(At) Seattle 41, San Diego 14: Russell Wilson threw for 121 yards and ran for two touchdowns, leading Seattle to scores on all four of his possessions.

Wilson completed 11 of 13 passes, and connected on his first eight attempts in Seattle’s first appearance at home since winning the Super Bowl.

Russell Wilson threw for 121 yards and ran for two touchdowns, leading Seattle to scores on all four of his possessions and the Seahawks beat San Diego.

Wilson did a little of everything. He was pressured on the first snap of the game and avoided it to complete a pass. He scrambled when the pressure created clear running lanes. He threw sharp passes to open receivers and he operated Seattle’s offense with an efficiency missing in its preseason opener at Denver.

Wilson completed 11 of 13 passes, and connected on his first eight attempts in Seattle’s first appearance at home since winning the Super Bowl.

Extra points

Bears tight end Zach Miller has been placed on season-ending injured reserve because of the foot injury he suffered in Thursday’s 20-19 preseason victory over the Jaguars.

Miller left the game early after making six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns.

... Rookie Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will get his first opportunity with the first-team offense this week, said coach Gus Bradley, who added that Bortles will play about a quarter with them during next week’s preseason game at Detroit.

Also, right tackle Austin Pasztor broke a bone in his right hand Thursday night and will miss at least a month.

... Tuesday is the day the Browns will announce whether their starting quarterback for their Sept. 7 opener against the Steelers is Brian Hoyer (Michigan State) or Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel — after Monday’s night exhibition against Washington, coach Mike Pettine said.

... Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders was involved in a single-car accident early Friday and hospitalized. There was no word on Saunders’ condition, but the Jets say he won’t travel for tonight’s game at Cincinnati.