KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Dwayne Bowe, in and out of his coach's doghouse all year, is in much deeper trouble now.
Kansas City's third-year wide receiver was suspended without pay for four games Tuesday for violating the NFL's policy against performance-enhancing substances.
Bowe's agent, Todd France, said his client was guilty only of taking a weight loss supplement.
"Dwayne did not take a steroid or any other peformance-enhancing drug," France said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "However he took a diuretic for weight loss, which unfortunately has a negative affect under the league's policy. Dwayne is sincerely disappointed and apologetic that he let down the Chiefs organization, his teammates and the fans. He looks forward to returning and putting this situation behind him."
Neither the Chiefs nor the league would make further comment.
Bowe's loss is a blow to the Chiefs (2-7), who have struggled in coach Todd Haley's first year and been particularly weak at wide receiver, signing them off the street throughout the year and then discarding them and trying others.
The only constant at the position has been the talented but exasperating Bowe. Although the former first-round pick out of LSU has abundant ability, he's made a habit of coming up with a spectacular catch on one play only to drop an easy ball or make a silly mistake the next.
He was one of the first players to run afoul of the new regime when Haley replaced Herm Edwards this year. Although he was clearly the most talented pass-catcher on the team after the trade of tight end Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta, he dropped as low as third-team on the depth chart and spent much of the summer fighting his way back.
"I think that was good for me overall," he said in an interview in September. "I didn't like it at the time, didn't really understand why it happened. But I think I'm a better practice player now."
Heading into this weekend's game against Pittsburg, Bowe leads the Chiefs with 33 catches - but last week's victory over Oakland was a typical Dwayne Bowe game.
He had six catches for 91 yards and played a key role in the Chiefs' fourth win in 34 games. But he also infuriated his coach when he lined up on the wrong side of the field on a key play. Forced to waste a time out, Haley screamed at him from the sideline and a few minutes later was seen talking intensely with his wide receiver on the bench.
Bowe also had a season-high 109 yards in the Chiefs' other win, at Washington.
In the final weeks of the 2008 season, Bowe made one of the most fateful blunders of the year. The Chiefs, on their way to a 2-14 season, had what appeared to be a comfortable lead against San Diego but the Chargers scored and tried an onside kick. The ball bounced right to Bowe, and then bounced off his chest. San Diego recovered and scored in the last seconds for a 22-21 win.
As a result, the Chargers slipped into the playoffs and did not make the coaching change many fans were calling for.
In Kansas City, however, Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson was fired the next day and replaced by Scott Pioli, who fired Edwards and gave Haley his first chance to be a head coach.
"They say a lot of things happened because of that play," Bowe said in an interview this year. "I had my hands on the ball, but somebody pulled it away from me."
In his 40-game NFL career, he has 189 catches for 2,483 yards (13.1 ypc) and 16 TDs.
As a rookie, he played in all 16 games, making 15 starts and finishing with 70 catches for 995 yards and five touchdowns. His reception and receiving yardage totals set franchise season records by a Chiefs rookie.
Bowe started all 16 games for the Chiefs in 2008, finishing with 86 catches - a franchise single-season record for wide receivers - for 1,022 yards and seven touchdowns.