TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib was held out of practice Thursday after police say he punched a taxi driver and was jailed on charges of simple battery and resisting arrest without violence.
The Bucs said the second-year pro, who fought with a teammate during last year's NFL rookie symposium and then had another confrontation with a teammate this offseason, would not be suspended by the team.
Instead the club referred the matter to commissioner Roger Goodell.
"It's unfortunate, certainly, what happened last night," general manager Mark Dominik said.
"I've been in contact with the league office. This falls under the personal conduct policy. Certainly whatever decision's made, the commissioner's decision supersedes anything the club does at this time."
Talib posted $300 bail early Thursday. A Florida Highway Patrol arrest report said the 23-year-old punched a cab driver in the neck and ear after he picked up Talib and two other men outside a St. Petersburg nightclub.
Talib, accompanied by Dominik, walked onto the practice field about 30 minutes into an afternoon workout, but did not participate in drills. He left before the end of the session and was not available for comment.
"Obviously you're concerned, obviously you're disappointed," coach Raheem Morris said. "The real deal of the matter is it's a league issue. ... You have to let it go through due process."
Morris said Talib did not practice for "obvious reasons," though last year's No. 1 draft pick is expected to play in Saturday night's preseason game at Jacksonville.
"Right now all I can do is mentor and help him, get him going the right way," the first-year coach said. "Make sure stuff like this doesn't happen to him again."
Shortly after being drafted by the Bucs, Talib clashed with then-teammate Cory Boyd at the rookie symposium.
In May, he apologized for letting emotions get the best of him and swinging a helmet at offensive tackle Donald Penn and accidentally striking cornerback Torrie Cox instead during an offseason workout.
Cox, who was acting as a peacemaker, was cut on the face and received stitches. Morris said at the time the matter would be handled internally, though Talib said the entire team ran as punishment.
"We're trying to help him. It may not seem like it's working, but we're going to continue to work with him," Dominik said. "If he needs counseling, he's going to get counseling. We're going to work and try to catch his attention."
The arrest was the second jolt to the Bucs' defense in three days. Safety Tanard Jackson on Tuesday was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's substances of abuse policy.
"We've got to make better decisions. It's up to those guys to make those decisions," Morris said.
"We've got 78 guys doing it right. You've got to coach the 78 guys who are doing the right things, we've got to believe in the 78 guys that are doing the right things, and (Talib and Jackson) have got to go out there and do the right things."
Asked what it will take to get through to Talib, who the Bucs are counting on to be a major contributor in a revamped defense, Morris replied "continued growth" on the young player's part.
"He has to age every day, get better every day. He's goes a long time doing the right thing, then he messes up. We have to see what's going on," Morris said.
"You've got a young man trying to do the right thing putting himself in a cab. He obviously made a bad decision once he did that. So, he's made steps. He's made progress. But we've got to finish this thing off. That's up to me and him to get together and figure out how to do it."