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O'Dwyer to miss opener

GEORGETOWN, Ky. _ Bengals left guard Matt O'Dwyer's two-game suspension has been lowered to one for his arrest following a scuffle with police outside a New York bar last year. O'Dwyer, who had no comment after tonight's practice, had appealed to the NFL and will now miss only the Sept. 10 opener against the Browns.

"I think the league has to be heard on these matters," said Bengals President Mike Brown. "We can't ignore some of the stuff that happens in this league without indicating it's wrong. It's been addressed as far as we're concerned. He'll take his hit and we move on."

Brown didn't want to compare O'Dwyer's NFL punishment to the Ray Lewis situation. Lewis, Baltimore's Pro Bowl middle linebacker, apparently won't be suspended after being involved in an altercation that resulted in two murders.

SCOTT ARRESTED:Wide receiver Darnay Scott attended all the meetings and participated in tonight's practice after being arrested earlier in the day at his Florence, Ky., home on a charge of theft by deception. Scott is accussed of passing a bad check to a Florence motorcycle shop in excess of $5,000. He posted $5,000 bail and is due in Boone County District Court Aug. 4, which is the day of the Bengals' preseason opener in Buffalo.

Scott had no comment, although wide receivers coach Steve Mooshagian said his player told him it was a misunderstanding that he'll clear up. The Bengals held off commenting about the charge until it goes through the courts.

* IRONY TIMES 81:*Here's some big-league irony. Ron Dugans, the Florida State wide receiver projected to be Carl Pickens' successor as a play-making possession receiver, was given Pickens' No. 81 jersey. The problem is, Dugans is holding out because he won't agree to "The Carl Pickens Clause," in which the Bengals have put loyalty langauge from the collective bargaining agreement into the signing bonus portion of the contract.

Agent Jim Steiner reiterated his argument today that the Bengals don't need such a clause because it's already in the CBA. He also said his client doesn't want to sign the clause because his friend and Florida State teammate Peter Warrick didn't have to sign one.

"(The clause) wasn't ready to go by then," Brown said. "We were still mulling how to do it. It came out of the shoot just a little bit after that. It wasn't for any other reason. Something has to start or be born at some point in time. That's what happened here." Brown said Dugans could sit a long time: "Once we did it, we're not going to back off even if he never comes. He better just adjust to it."

Sixth-round pick Neil Rackers became the fourth draft pick to sign the "Pickens Clause," tonight when the kicker inked a three-year deal and scrambled out to practice. The key there is the Bengals did what they usually don't do and agreed to give a late-round pick an incentive so he has a shot at getting similar money as the players drafted around him. If Rackers gets 110 points this season, he'll get the boost, and it won't be easy. Incumbent kicker Doug Pelfrey hasn't scored 110 points since 1996.

Second-round pick Mark Roman is joining Dugans on the sidelines and Brown indicated the club isn't ready to give Roman a voidable year.

THIS AND THAT:As expected, the Bengals placed cornerback Charles Fisher on the active/physically unable to perform list (PUP) after he failed his physical. Fisher, who tore three ligaments in the first quarter of his NFL debut last season, can go to meetings and rehab, but can't do drills or practice. It looks like he's headed to the inactive PUP later in training camp, which would take him out of the first five games and first six weeks of practice. . .

The Bengals have been claiming and waiving punters all offseason, so why should the first day of camp be any different? Daniel Pope joins Brad Costello and Jeff Walker when the Bengals claimed him after the Chiefs cut him. Pope, in his second season, worked in all 16 games for the Chiefs last season, averaging middle of the pack numbers with 41.8 yards per kick, 35.1 yards per net and 20 punts downed inside the 20. . .

About 600 fans showed up here at Georgetown College for the year's first workout, with 57 media checking in.

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