Dwayne Bowe, in and out of his coach's doghouse all year, is in much deeper trouble now, The Associated Press writes.
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, told AP that his client was guilty only of taking a weight-loss supplement.
"Dwayne did not take a steroid or any other performance-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, according to AP.
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.