Panthers' Bridges pleads not guilty to assault charge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As Carolina Panthers guard Jeremy Bridges
practiced with his teammates Monday, his lawyer entered a not
guilty plea on his behalf for a misdemeanor assault charge for
pointing a gun at a woman outside a strip club.

Attorney George Laughrun said a trial date was set for Oct. 2.

Bridges was arrested in the early morning of July 26 -- a day
before players reported to training camp.

The Panthers later suspended Bridges for the first two games of
the regular season for conduct detrimental to the team. He'll miss
games against St. Louis and Houston.

Bridges could also face further disciplinary action under the
NFL's personal conduct policy pending the outcome of the case.

Laughrun wouldn't discuss the details of the case. Bridges, who
was not required to appear in court Monday, is free on $3,000 bond.

Bridges, who has not spoken to reporters since his arrest,
declined another interview request Monday.

The Tuesday trial date appears to be good timing for Bridges.
Players are scheduled to be off on Oct. 2, which is two days after
Carolina hosts Tampa Bay.

The 6-foot-4, 326-pound Bridges, who was expected to be the
team's starting right guard, was demoted to the second team early
in training camp in part due to the impending suspension. Rookie
Ryan Kalil started at right guard in Carolina's 24-7 exhibition
loss to New England on Friday.

Carolina signed Bridges in September after the season-ending
injury to left tackle Travelle Wharton. Bridges, who had spent the
previous two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, was in the
Panthers' starting lineup at right tackle last season. With Wharton
returning this season, Bridges moved to guard during May's