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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Bridges practices with Panthers three days after arrest

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Reserve offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges practiced with the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, three days after he was arrested for the second time in 16 months on assault charges.

Bridges was deactivated for Monday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but coach John Fox indicated the team will let the legal process run its course before deciding whether to take disciplinary action.

"We'll keep you posted, but last time I looked you're innocent until proven guilty," Fox said.

Bridges was arrested Sunday night and charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of communicating threats in connection with a disturbance at a Charlotte restaurant a night earlier.

Bridges was with his wife celebrating their anniversary when he 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, and he was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of communicating threats.

Bridges was not at Bank of America Stadium for Monday's game.

"I made the decision I made just because I didn't want that to be a distraction," Fox said. "It wasn't, and I think we're kind of back to business as usual."

Bridges' first arrest came a day before training camp started last year, 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.

Bridges was later convicted, given a suspended 60-day jail sentence and ordered to perform community service.

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.