Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Peterson Rejoins Jaguars; after a Meeting with del Rio, the Linebacker Apologizes to the Team

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Peterson Rejoins Jaguars; after a Meeting with del Rio, the Linebacker Apologizes to the Team

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL C. WRIGHT

Linebacker Mike Peterson rejoined the Jaguars after a Friday morning meeting with coach Jack Del Rio.

Whether he'll play Sunday at Detroit remains a mystery.

"He'll travel, and we'll decide what we think is best for the team," Del Rio said. "But to me, we put an end to this."

Del Rio and Peterson talked early Friday, but neither would divulge the details of the meeting.

Del Rio called their meeting "a nice private discussion."

Peterson added: "It happened behind closed doors, so I would rather keep it behind closed doors."

The one-on-one sit-down between Del Rio and Peterson occurred two days after the coach sent the linebacker home after a mild argument between the two during a team meeting. Peterson returned expecting to rejoin the team for practice Thursday, and was sent home again.

Teammates said the dispute arose when Del Rio expressed displeasure about the Peterson celebrating after a sack against the Cincinnati Bengals when the club trailed 21-3. Peterson defended his actions, and Del Rio asked Peterson to leave.

Peterson, who disputed reported accounts of what transpired, was one of several players singled out by Del Rio during the meeting. Peterson offered what teammates characterized as a heartfelt apology to the team before Friday's practice.

"For 'P,' man, just to be able to come in here and be very apologetic to the guys ... it's as if he never really left," running back Fred Taylor said. "You've got to applaud Mike for coming here and being able to swallow his pride."

Asked if he expected to play Sunday, Peterson said it was Del Rio's decision.

"I will definitely be available and ready, but the decision is his," Peterson said. "All I can do is prepare myself and be ready."

In the final year of a six-year, $21-million contract, Peterson, 32, expressed frustration during training camp about the club's reluctance to work out an extension during the offseason. (The Jaguars did pay Peterson a $1. …

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