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NFLPA won't appeal Haynesworth's suspension

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 4, 2006) -- The NFL Players Association will not appeal Albert Haynesworth's five-game suspension for stomping on the head of Dallas center Andre Gurode.

The Tennessee Titans defensive tackle was suspended for kicking Gurode in the head twice in the 45-14 victory by the Cowboys on Oct. 1. The unprecedented suspension is more than twice the previous longest, a two-game suspension for Green Bay's Charles Martin in 1986.

Haynesworth announced through his agent on Oct. 3 that he would not appeal the suspension. NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw discussed the suspension with Haynesworth and others, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"We represent both players here, and it is best for all concerned that we let the suspension stand," Upshaw said. "While Roger has expressed a willingness to meet with Haynesworth and I expect that meeting to take place, there will be no formal hearing where the suspension will be challenged."

That leaves the next move to Gurode, who still has the option of filing criminal charges or a civil lawsuit. His agent Kennard McGuire said that Gurode would talk with his family before deciding what to do. But Gurode was not in the Cowboys' locker room when reporters were allowed in, and McGuire did not return a message left by The Associated Press.

Gurode did not practice Oct. 4. Dallas coach Bill Parcells said he expects his center can practice Oct. 5. The coach did not think Gurode was having vision problems and could wear a helmet despite the cuts on his forehead.

"I think he can, yeah. I think he'll go tomorrow," Parcells said.

Haynesworth also hasn't spoken publicly since he told reporters after the game that he was disgusted by his act of kicking Gurode's face with his cleated shoe, leaving seven cuts needing 30 stitches.

But the defensive tackle has scheduled a news conference for Oct. 5 at a Nashville hotel.

"He's going to explain where he is in all of this and talk about the suspension and his actions he's taking going forward," said Kathleen Hessert, a media consultant working with Haynesworth and his agent.

The Titans have learned that they will not be allowed any contact with Haynesworth during the suspension, which includes their bye week on Oct. 22. He cannot return to the team until after they play the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 12.

Asked if he worries what Haynesworth will do during the suspension, Titans coach Jeff Fisher said no.

"This is all his responsibility. He's got to take care of himself right now," Fisher said.

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