Burress Reportedly Shoots Himself in Leg
UPDATED (4:55 p.m.)...
New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was hospitalized Friday night after accidentally shooting himself in the leg, according to several reports.
The Giants indicated in a written statement released today that Burress, 31, had suffered a wound to his right thigh in "an apparent accidental shooting" and was released from a New York City hospital this afternoon. The Giants indicated in the statement that they were gathering facts about the incident and had been in contact with NFL security officials, and added that the shooting "could become a matter for law enforcement officials."
The team did not provide further details and it was not clear how seriously Burress was hurt or when he might be able to play football again. Burress already had been declared out of Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field because of a previous hamstring injury.
The Giants' statement said: "We are aware of the fact that Plaxico was involved in an apparent accidental shooting last night. We have been in contact with Plaxico since shortly after the incident. Plaxico suffered a wound to his right thigh.
"Obviously, our primary concern is for Plaxico's health and well-being, and given the circumstances, we are relieved to say he was released from a New York City hospital at approximately 2 p.m. today. We have been in touch with NFL Security on this matter.
"At this point, we are attempting to gather all the facts surrounding this incident. This incident could become a matter for law enforcement officials, and because of that, we have no comment on any of the details."
Previous reports had indicated that Burress suffered a non-life-threatening injury when he accidentally shot himself in the leg Friday night, hours after the Giants had announced that he wouldn't play against the Redskins.
Burress caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Giants quarterback Eli Manning in last season's Super Bowl upset of the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. He was involved in an offseason contract dispute with the Giants but got a new five-year, $35 million deal just before a season-opening victory over the Redskins at Giants Stadium. The contract included about $11 million in guaranteed money.
The Giants have a record of 10-1 and are regarded as the NFL's top team this season, but Burress has been involved in a series of controversies.
He was suspended for one game without pay by the team after reportedly missing a team meeting in late September. That cost Burress $117,647 of his $2 million salary for this season. He missed an Oct. 5 game against the Seattle Seahawks and rejoined the team the following day.
He was fined $45,000 by the NFL for three separate incidents during an Oct. 19 game against the San Francisco 49ers in which he was penalized for complaining about an offensive pass interference call against him. The league fined Burress $20,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct, $20,000 for complaining about the officiating publicly and $5,000 for throwing a ball into the stands.
He was benched at the outset of an Oct. 26 game at Pittsburgh by Giants Coach Tom Coughlin after missing a treatment session the previous day. Burress entered that game early in the second quarter.
There also was a report by the New York Daily News in September that the NFL was investigating Burress for a possible violation of its personal conduct policy because of two domestic incidents last summer in which his wife had temporary restraining orders issued against him, according to the Daily News report. But both of the orders reportedly were dismissed in state court and Richard Berthelsen, the acting executive director of the NFL Players Association, said at the time that he was unaware of any discussion of possible disciplinary action by the league against Burress under the conduct policy.
The league has taken no action against Burress under the conduct policy to this point.
Burress played in the Giants' triumph at Arizona last Sunday, but left after only three plays when he aggravated a hamstring injury suffered during practice the previous week. He underwent further tests early in the week and the Giants ruled him out of the Redskins game.
Domenik Hixon is scheduled to start Sunday's game in place of Burress, who has 35 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this season.