Pats' Dennard says he pushed, not punched, police officer

New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard says he only pushed a police officer in self defense last year in Nebraska, but two officers have testified that he punched one of them in the face, the Omaha World Herald reported from Dennard's trial this week.

Offseason Forecast: Patriots
With the offseason under way, Around The League examines what's next for all 32 teams. Gregg Rosenthal tackles the Patriots. More ...

Dennard, a former Nebraska cornerback, was arrested April 21, 2012 outside a bar in Lincoln, accused of punching a police officer in the face during a fight. Dennard is charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and third-degree assault.

He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

"I didn't hurt you, I didn't punch you in the face on purpose. You ran up on me so fast," Dennard said in a jailhouse interview tape played in court on Tuesday. "I pushed you, that's all that happened."

On Tuesday, officer Brian Kopsa testified that Dennard hit him in the jaw after Kopsa told the football player he was under arrest. On Wednesday, officer Jerad McBride testified that he witnessed the punch, according to ProFootballTalk.

Attorneys have said they expect the trial to end on Friday.

The Patriots drafted Dennard in the seventh round last year. He started seven games in 2012 and had three interceptions.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.