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Holmes apologizes to fans

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes apologized Monday for being involved in a marijuana-related case that caused coach Mike Tomlin to bench him for Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants.

Holmes, a 2006 first-round draft pick out of Ohio State, was charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana after a traffic stop Thursday in which city police smelled burning marijuana and found marijuana-filled cigars in his car.

Holmes’ preliminary hearing before a Pittsburgh district judge is scheduled for Nov. 24.

‘‘I would like to apologize to my teammates, the Steelers organization, my family and the fans for my actions that caused me to miss Sunday’s game,’’ Holmes said in a statement issued by the team. ‘‘I recognize that I made a mistake and understand the significance of my actions, and will not make any excuse for my behavior. I look forward to putting this behind me and being accepted by my teammates and the fans as part of this team.’’

Holmes said he won’t address the issue with reporters the rest of the season. The Steelers have not said if he will play Monday night at Washington or if he was fined.

‘‘As this time, I plan to focus all of my efforts on helping our team win on the field and achieve its ultimate goal, and will not address this situation publicly in the future,’’ Holmes said in the statement.

Following the incident, Holmes was not allowed to practice Friday or take part in any pregame preparations.

Holmes’ absence during the 21-14 loss to New York had a visible effect on the Steelers’ passing game.