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PANTHERS RECEIVER CHARGED FOLLOWING FILM-ROOM FIGHT

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was jailed and charged with misdemeanor assault Friday after attacking a teammate earlier this week.

Anthony Bright, a practice-squad player, had a broken nose and was hospitalized for two nights following the fight, which occurred during film session Monday. Bright filed a report with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police following his release from the hospital.

"We knew this was a possibility," Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney said.

The Panthers already suspended Smith for Sunday's home game against Atlanta.

Smith was charged with assault inflicting serious injury, police Capt. Cam Selvey said. As a misdemeanor, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 120 days imprisonment.

Smith turned himself in to sheriff's deputies around 5 p.m. and was being processed at the county's central jail, Selvey said. Bond was set at $2,000.

Smith has apologized for attacking Bright and has agreed to receive counseling for his temper.

Hurney said Smith's arrest would not change the team's punishment.

"We made our decision after gathering the facts. We've given our reasons for that decision," Hurney said.

It has been a turbulent week for the Panthers (3-7), who released fourth-year offensive tackle Chris Terry on Wednesday after he was arrested for failing to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge of assaulting his wife.

The Seattle Seahawks claimed Terry, a day after he was waived by the Panthers. To make room for Terry, the Seahawks waived receiver Kevin Kasper.

Around the league

Garrison Hearst made an emotional apology Friday for using a slur and saying he wouldn't want a gay player as a teammate with the San Francisco 49ers. Appearing visibly shaken by the controversy caused by his pointed remarks to the Fresno Bee three weeks earlier, the 49ers' Pro Bowl running back made a short statement at the team's training complex.

"Being an African American, I know that discrimination is wrong," Hearst said. "I was wrong for saying what I said about anybody, any race or any religion."

The Arizona Cardinals, already depleted by injuries, will be without starting outside linebacker Rob Fredrickson for at least two games because of a neck injury. Fredrickson was knocked out of Arizona's loss to Seattle on Nov. 10 with a neck stinger.

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