- Associated Press - Saturday, December 11, 2010

ENGLEWOOD, COLO. (AP) - Denver Broncos rookie cornerback Perrish Cox traveled to Phoenix with his teammates but his playing status Sunday remains undecided following his arrest for investigation of sexual assault.

The Broncos could punish the standout defensive back from Oklahoma State for missing practice and meetings Friday while he was detained in the Douglas County Jail following his arrest Thursday night.

They could bench him for part of the game against the Cardinals and also fine him as they did star linebacker D.J. Williams last month following a drunken driving arrest.

A team spokesman said no decision had been made Saturday night about whether Cox would play Sunday. He’s listed as questionable, meaning there’s a 50-50 chance.

On Friday, a judge ruled Cox, who posted $50,000 bail, could leave the state for the Broncos’ road games at Arizona this weekend and at Oakland on Dec. 19.

Cox could face a four-game suspension from the NFL next season for violating the league’s personal conduct code. Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t need a player’s conviction to punish him.

Last month, the Broncos stripped Williams of his captaincy and sat him for the first series of their game against Kansas City following his second drunken driving arrest. He, too, faces a monthlong banishment from the NFL in 2011.

The Broncos announced on the eve of that game with the Chiefs that Williams wouldn’t start and that he’d be fined but they didn’t make a similar statement about Cox’s status on Saturday.

Cox has started eight games in place of Andre’ Goodman, who has been sidelined most of the season with hip and thigh ailments. Goodman is expected to return to action Sunday but rookie Syd’Quan Thompson might start in Cox’s place.

Cox’s legal troubles are the latest crisis for the Broncos, who, in the last four years have dealt with the drive-by slaying of cornerback Darrent Williams, running back Damien Nash’s fatal heart attack and receiver Kenny McKinley’s suicide. Running backs Maurice Clarett (aggravated robbery) and Travis Henry (financing a drug ring) were imprisoned after their release by the Broncos, and there were numerous domestic violence calls for wide receiver Brandon Marshall before his trade to Miami in the spring.

Interim coach Eric Studesville was promoted from running backs coach late Monday after Josh McDaniels was fired in the midst of the franchise’s worst skid in four decades and the Spygate II videotape scandal.

Cox’s next court hearing was set for Jan. 7.

The Broncos (3-9) drafted Cox in the fifth round last April. He was rated higher but dropped in the draft because of character concerns. He’d been arrested last year on charges of driving without a license and proof of insurance and he was suspended from the Cotton Bowl for missing curfew.

NOTES: On Saturday, the Broncos signed free agent K Steven Hauschka because Matt Prater’s strained right groin will keep him out of the game against the Cardinals. To make room, they waived OL Stanley Daniels.

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