- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Dwayne Gratz spent 24 hours in jail and then got fined for missing practice.

Three days later, he expressed regret for both.

Gratz apologized Wednesday for his arrest in Miami Beach over the weekend and vowed to “become a better man.”

He was arrested early Sunday after police said he drunkenly tried to use bubble gum to buy items from a store and then refused to leave. Gratz spent a day in jail, charged with disorderly intoxication and trespassing.

“First off, I want to apologize to my family, my friends, this organization, especially my teammates for my actions,” Gratz said. “I know it is wrong, but we are human, we make mistakes. So I’ve just got to become a better man from this and move on.”

Gratz also addressed his teammates in a meeting earlier in the day.

“I don’t think I could walk around here if I didn’t let them know what was up and what happened,” he said. “I just told them that I was apologized for missing Monday practices and meetings and then I told them I was just sorry for causing any negative attention to the team.”

His message was well received.

“We have nothing but love for him,” receiver Cecil Shorts III said. “We all make mistakes. We have all had issues and stuff like that, so we’re not going to dog him or not show love for him. He apologized and we forgave him and now it’s back to football.”

A third-round draft pick from Connecticut in 2013, Gratz has started 15 games in two seasons. He has 64 tackles, eight passes defended and two interceptions.

He expects to start Sunday at Indianapolis and hopes to put the incident behind him.

“That’s not who I am and not who I’m trying to be, so (the team is) behind me and they’re there for me,” he said. “I made a mistake, and there are consequences for that and I know that. But as I said become a better man from it.”


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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