By MIKE CRANSTON
AP Sports Writer
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) – The Carolina Panthers suspended offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges for the first two games of the regular season on Friday, a day after his arrest on a misdemeanor assault charge.
Team spokesman Charlie Dayton said Bridges will be allowed to practice with the team when training camp begins Saturday morning.
Bridges was arrested Thursday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C. after a woman who works at a strip club accused Bridges of pointing a gun at her in the parking lot of the club. He was released on $3,000 bond.
Bridges reported to training camp on time Friday and met with coach John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney, who said they were collecting information on the incident.
Bridges will miss games against St. Louis and Houston.
The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement allows teams to suspend players up to four games for conduct detrimental to the team. Depending on the outcome of the case, Bridges could also face discipline under the NFL’s new tougher conduct policy.
The 6-foot-4, 326-pound Bridges was signed by Carolina last September after starting left tackle Travelle Wharton sustained a season-ending knee injury. He eventually moved into the starting lineup at right tackle when Jordan Gross moved to the left side to replace Wharton.
With Wharton returning from the injury this season, Bridges was expected to compete for a starting job at guard.
Bridges, who played at Southern Mississippi, spent two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and started 11 games before he was cut in training camp in 2006. The Panthers were impressed with how he filled in last season, and he was a candidate to remain a starter this season.