Irsay, Colts accept reduction of Dickerson's penalty

November 14, 1991

Indianapolis Colts owner Robert Irsay and Indianapolis coach Rick Venturi said yesterday that they had no problem with a mediator's decision to reduce the suspension and fine of running back Eric Dickerson.

After listening to 11 hours of testimony, an NFL arbitrator decided to reduce Dickerson's penalty for missing practice to a three-game suspension and a fine of about $225,000.

Sam Kagel, a San Francisco lawyer, determined that the original suspension of four games and fine of $617,000 was too harsh.

The decision "took us down a little but he proved the point that we were right, and that's the big thing," Irsay said.

The Colts had said Dickerson's walkout last week and refusal to return to practice constituted insubordination and conduct detrimental to the team.

"We just aren't going to tolerate that," Irsay said. "We pay the players a lot of money and they've got to practice and they've got to follow the rules."

Venturi said: "I feel good about it. The bottom line is you do what you feel is right."

The Colts and Dickerson released a joint statement, which said, "In mediating the settlement, arbitrator Kagel did not determine the propriety of the Colts' fine and suspension. As part of the settlement Eric agreed not to return to the Colts until Nov. 25, 1991, and to pay the Colts $75,000 from his 1991 salary and $150,000 from his 1992 salary."

Dickerson missed Sunday's game against the New York Jets, the Colts' first victory of the season.

Kagel's decision was binding on both sides.

* BRONCOS: Defensive end Warren Powers (Maryland, Edmondson) tore the biceps muscle from the bone near his right shoulder while lifting weights and is doubtful for Sunday's game at Kansas City.

"It's not attached at the top," coach Dan Reeves said. "People have played with that kind of injury, but you lose a lot of strength."

Powers reported feeling some discomfort in the muscle before yesterday's workout.

Alphonso Carreker, who has played in the past two games after missing more than a year with knee and back injuries, would replace Powers.

* BEARS: Running back Neal Anderson said his injured right hamstring shouldn't keep him out of the next game, although coach Mike Ditka has considered resting him a week.

"The leg is sore but it's no big deal," said Anderson, who said he doesn't think he should sit out Sunday at Indianapolis just because the Colts are 1-9.

"I wouldn't want to sit out just because it's the Colts," Anderson said. "It would be a slap in the face at them."

Anderson, the Bears' top rusher with 646 rushing yards, aggravated the injury Monday night in Chicago's 34-17 victory at Minnesota when he changed directions on a 24-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

* GIANTS: David Meggett (Towson State) may be kept out of Sunday's game against the Cowboys because the return specialist has bruised ribs and reaggravated an injury to his right heel.

If so, wide receiver Mark Ingram would handle Meggett's punt-return duties, something Ingram got a taste of during a 24-17 win at Phoenix on Sunday. Ingram returned three punts for 19 yards.

Ingram said his style of returning punts differs from Meggett's. "I'm going to try to string it out and find a crease," he said. "Meggett just runs straight at the defense and makes them tackle him. I'm looking for more of a big play."

* COWBOYS: Offensive tackle Nate Newton (knee) will miss the next two games. He'll be replaced by rookie Erik Williams, who gave up three sacks in the first half of his only previous start.

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