- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman said he did not harm reality TV star Tila Tequila at his home early Sunday and added he was concerned for her safety because she appeared to be intoxicated.

Merriman was arrested and accused of choking and restraining Tequila as she tried to leave his suburban home. Tequila signed a citizen’s arrest warrant, and Merriman spent about 2 1/2 hours in the downtown jail.

Merriman practiced Monday, then said he’s convinced he’ll be cleared. It will ultimately be up to the District Attorney’s office to decide if he’ll be charged.

“I think when it all surfaces, it will be a different situation. Period,” said Merriman, who described Tequila as an acquaintance.

Merriman said he was limited in what he could say. He kept referring to a statement issued through his attorney Sunday night.

“At the time, I was concerned about her welfare given the intoxicated state she appeared to be in and I encouraged her to stay until safe transportation could be provided,” Merriman said in the statement.

“It’s kind of a tough situation where you think you’re doing the right thing,” Merriman said Monday. “I’m glad that everyone was safe at the end of the day. I don’t think I will regret that part.”

GIANTS: Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce missed practice Monday for personal reasons.

Coach Tom Coughlin said afterward that Pierce was excused from the roughly one-hour workout. He refused to disclose the reason for Pierce’s absence.

The Giants open the regular season Sunday at home against Washington. Pierce played for the Redskins before signing with New York in 2005, and he said on Twitter over the weekend that he considered playing them like an annual Super Bowl.

JAGUARS: Injured running back Maurice Jones-Drew won’t discuss his status for the season opener against Indianapolis. He did say Monday he was angry when the hit happened.

Jones-Drew bruised his right shin in Jacksonville’s final preseason game against the Redskins. Jones-Drew was injured on a tackle by Washington’s Fred Smoot on the team’s first drive of the game.

“I just think some things in football you don’t need,” he said. “If you want to cut out blocking or certain hits when people aren’t looking, going low when a guy’s back’s to you… that isn’t the way to tackle a guy. I just think that personally.”

RAIDERS: Five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour has not reported to the team a day after the New England Patriots traded him to Oakland.

Coach Tom Cable said after practice Monday there were still issues that needed to be worked out between Seymour and the Patriots before the deal could be finalized.

LIONS: Matt Stafford won Detroit’s starting quarterback job and will be under center Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

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