Bears DT Tank Johnson to sit on sidelines

Dec. 15, 2006 at 5:52 PM

CHICAGO, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The Chicago Bears Friday decided not to play defensive tackle Tank Johnson in Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

On its Web site, the team noted that the three-year veteran is facing six misdemeanor counts of possession of a firearm without a valid Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification card.

The charges stem from an incident on Thursday, when the Gurnee (Ill.) Police Department executed a search warrant at Johnson's home.

"We're disappointed in the situation that's come up right now," said Coach Lovie Smith upon learning about the incident. "It's a distraction for the (11-2) team and all of that. I'll get more details and go from there."

It is the second time this year that Johnson has been involved in a questionable situation.

Last March, prosecutors dropped battery and resisting arrest charges filed against him stemming from an incident the month before outside a Chicago nightclub.

That arrest violated his probation resulting from a guilty plea to a misdemeanor unlawful gun possession charge.

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