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Now, Owens a little skittish

Eagles receiver says no offense intended

While Terrell Owens would never say he's sorry for his flashy touchdown celebrations, he did apologize yesterday to anyone offended by his role in a steamy segment with actress Nicollette Sheridan for the intro to "Monday Night Football."

"I felt like it was clean, the organization felt like it was a clean skit, and I think it just really got taken out of context with a lot of people and I apologize for that," Owens said.

"Personally, I didn't think it would have offended anyone and, if it did, I apologize."

ABC and the Eagles also apologized this week, with the team saying it wished the titillating segment "hadn't aired."

The opening, which has generated complaints to ABC and the Federal Communications Commission, showed Sheridan (of the hit show "Desperate Housewives") wearing only a towel and provocatively asking Owens to skip the game for her as the two stood alone in a locker room. She drops the towel and jumps into Owens's arms.

Owens, known for his outrageous touchdown celebrations, seemed to believe the skit was generating controversy because of his participation, not the content of the segment.

"Anything I get involved with, I'm obviously a target," he said.

Staley still ailing
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Duce Staley missed practice again yesterday with a sore hamstring that has kept him out of two games, meaning he is unlikely to play Sunday in Cincinnati. Staley hasn't played since injuring the hamstring in practice Nov. 5, two days before the Steelers played his former team, the Eagles. Jerome Bettis replaced Staley with consecutive 100-yard games against Philadelphia and Cleveland . . . Drew Henson practiced as the first-team quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, although it was just as a fill-in for an ill Vinny Testaverde -- not the promotion fans are eager to see. Testaverde missed practice because of an undisclosed illness. He is still expected to start Sunday against Baltimore even though he has struggled as Dallas has dropped five of six . . . Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme said he's encouraged about his chances of playing against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday after throwing for the first time this week. Delhomme didn't take any snaps during practice and was held out of team drills, but did throw on the side for the first time since suffering a hairline fracture in his right thumb last Sunday at San Francisco.

Bucs lose McFarland
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' injury-riddled defensive line suffered another major blow -- tackle Anthony McFarland will miss the remainder of the season with a torn right triceps. The Bucs placed the sixth-year pro on injured reserve and plan to keep Chidi Ahanotu, signed last week because of a lack of depth on the defensive line, in the starting lineup. McFarland is the third player lost at the position in the past four games, joining Ellis Wyms (shoulder) and Damian Gregory (knee) on IR . . . The NFL will not fine Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor after looking into allegations that a Cincinnati player was spit on during last Sunday's game. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said one of his players was spit on during Cincinnati's 17-10 victory. Comments from receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh implied the culprit was Taylor, but the league found insufficient evidence for action . . . Former Arizona Cardinals tackle Luis Sharpe, who pleaded guilty to possession of narcotics last month, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in state prison.

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