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Fryar Goes Home Amid Discrepancy : Patriot Is Reported to Have Cut Fingers in Domestic Dispute

January 11, 1986|MARK HEISLER | Times Staff Writer

MIAMI — The New England Patriots announced Friday that wide receiver Irving Fryar, who will miss Sunday's AFC championship game after cutting his right hand, had returned to Boston "to resolve some personal issues which developed this week."

Fryar had said he'd cut the tendon of his right little finger and also sliced into the finger next to it while putting a carving knife into a kitchen drawer at home.

On Thursday, however, the Quincy Patriot Ledger reported that Fryar's wife, Jacqueline, had also been treated and released at Goddard Memorial Hospital in Stoughton, a suburb of Boston.

The Patriot Ledger said that Fryar arrived at 11:14 Wednesday morning and that his wife came in 23 minutes later. Hospital officials wouldn't say what Jacqueline Fryar's injuries were, but said that she was five months pregnant and that she wanted to make sure she was OK.

The Patriot Ledger reported that Fryar had suffered the cut "in an argument with his wife."

Fryar, the No. 1 pick in the 1984 NFL draft, caught 39 passes for a 17.2-yard average and 7 touchdowns during the season. He also led the AFC with a 14.1-yard average returning punts, broke two for touchdowns and was named to his first Pro Bowl.

He took a plane here to rejoin his teammates and attended Thursday's practice, where he told of having cut himself reaching into the drawer.

He was asked what kind of knife it was.

"The kind you use to cut a turkey," he said.

Friday, the Patriots issued a prepared statement at their hotel, saying that Fryar had returned home.

"The Patriots have pledged their full support and resources to help the Fryars," it said, although it had made no previous reference to Jacqueline Fryar.

Coach Raymond Berry said: "In light of the situation, I said I don't want to know any details, so I don't have to answer any questions," Berry said.

Several Patriot players claimed to know nothing more. On Friday, after the release was handed out, most of them were still saying they didn't even know Fryar had left.

Said cornerback Raymond Clayborn: "The only thing we know is what he told us. I'm pretty sure that's the truth."

Guard Ron Wooten said, however, that he knew. He also said there were others.

"Most of us knew the morning it happened," Wooten said. " . . . I sympathize because he's going to miss the biggest game of his career. They're newlyweds. You hate to see this happen, but I don't think it's a situation that can't be repaired.

"It was not a good omen for us but we've broken through that wall of pessimism. Years ago or last year, it would have affected us dramatically."

For the record, Berry said he didn't think it was a distraction. Stephen Starring, who caught 16 passes for a 14.7-yard average, will start in Fryar's place.

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