Police closed the Terrell Owens case Thursday, calling it nothing more than an "accidental overdose." The 911 call that started it all was released,
too, revealing little beyond what was already known: that T.O. swallowed "too many pills."
Even Cowboys coach Bill Parcells conceded that "there must be a reason" his star receiver was released from the hospital 15 hours after arriving
groggy and incoherent.
Each piece of evidence that came to light Thursday seemed to square with T.O.'s version of events -- that he made a mistake, had a bad reaction and
was by no means trying to kill himself.
Owens, meanwhile, was back at practice for the first time since breaking his hand Sept. 17 and might play Sunday in Tennessee. Said fellow receiver
Sam Hurd: "I asked him how he felt and he said, `I feel good to go. All good."'
Owens said Wednesday he mistakenly mixed the painkillers he was prescribed for his hand injury with his usual supplements, causing the reaction that
prompted publicist Kim Etheredge to call for help. The 911 tape shows that she was on the line for 41 seconds, never said anything about a suicide
attempt and never mentioned Owens' name.
"I think he took too many pills," she told a paramedic. "Please. Now. ... What do I do if the pills are down the throat?"
While Owens was hospitalized, a police report obtained by media outlets told a far different story -- that Owens attempted "suicide by prescription
pain medication," that Etheredge told rescue workers Owens was depressed and that he said "Yes" when rescue workers asked if he'd tried to harm
In ending the investigation Thursday, Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle said he still has "great confidence" in his officers' initial report, noting
that document is not "the definitive account of the incident."
"We're dealing with incomplete information and facts that change," he said.
An early report of an empty pill bottle is a good example of the difference between what officers were told and the story that emerged later. The
report indicated that 35 pills were unaccounted for; Owens later said Etheredge reported seeing an empty bottle, not knowing the medicine was in a
"Further investigation leads you to a different conclusion," Kunkle said.
When Etheredge spoke Wednesday, she lashed out at authorities, saying, "I am just upset that I just feel they take advantage of Terrell. Had this been
someone else, this may not have happened."
Kunkle dismissed the criticism, but the head of the Dallas Police Association didn't. He called for an apology from Owens and Etheredge, saying, "We
police officers don't go out to these calls and make stuff up."
"They're being put under a microscope by some fancy little football person," Senior Cpl. Glenn White said Thursday. "Give me a break. Those officers
are 10 times better than this man."
Etheredge later said she was sorry in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She added that her comments were "about the entire situation
with the report and ensuing media controversy," not just the police.
"I would like to apologize for any slight and am extremely thankful to the police, the fire department and the paramedics for their quick response,"
Etheredge was far from being angry and outraged on her call to 911. She started out politely, saying in an urgent tone, "Hi, I have an emergency
Panicked but composed, she said "thank you" before being transferred to a paramedic, then told the second operator, "Hi. I need an ambulance please,
The paramedic asked if her friend was still breathing. Told that he was, the paramedic reassured Etheredge that rescue workers were en route.
"Thank you," she said. "Thank you."
Although Owens looked fine in practice Thursday, Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said he might not decide until Saturday morning whether Owens travels to
Tennessee. If so, he'll probably wait until that night to determine whether to use him in the game.
Parcells said he first wants to evaluate all the medical information he can get, including details about Owens' broken hand and possibly a mental
evaluation. Owens was expected to practice again Friday.
"I have to, as the coach, rely on other people to keep me informed as to really what's going on," Parcells said. "I can't form my own independent
opinion other than those involving, `Is his hand functional and can he play on Sunday?' If my medical people tell me those things are in place, and
then he looks like he's (OK), we'll make that consideration then."
He pointed to the fact that Owens was released from the hospital after being checked out there. "If they deemed it appropriate to release him, there
must be a reason why they did that," he said.
Owens wore receiving gloves Thursday with bandages under the right one to protect the hand bone he broke in a game a week ago Sunday. A metal plate
was screwed into the bone the following day.
"He was running fine," backup quarterback Tony Romo said. "I thought he caught the ball pretty good. I expect him to be ready to go this weekend."
Owens declined to speak with reporters Thursday, saying he did his talking Wednesday. But he sure was visible while media was allowed in the locker
Wearing a small bandage over the scar on his right hand, and a black T-shirt that read "U Big Dummy" above a picture of TV character Fred Sanford,
Owens walked into the locker room, sat on a sofa and unwrapped his lunch, then decided to take it into an adjacent, off-limits dining area.
When he returned, Owens shooed away reporters, then went back to the same spot on the sofa where he'd been before. He grabbed a copy of the Cowboys
Weekly newspaper to occupy his time.
Among the articles that caught his attention: "Young Receivers Have Opportunity To Step Up After Broken Finger Sidelines Owens," and a scouting report
of the Eagles, next week's foe.
Teammates, meanwhile, went about their business as if nothing happened.
Cornerback Aaron Glenn, a 12-year veteran, said that while Owens has been all over the news, his story hasn't been a distraction within the club.
"We've got a game to play. We're talking about Tennessee," Glenn said. "This is the NFL, not peewee football. The only thing that we're worried about
is that he's OK. He is."
Associated Press Writers Matt Curry and Anabelle Garay in Dallas contributed to this story.
This article is reported by sports.yahoo.com