NFL Wire News

NFL notebook: Steelers WR Bryant faces four-game suspension


The Sports Xchange

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant reportedly is facing a four-game suspension.

The punishment is for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday. Bryant failed several marijuana tests, a source told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Bryant is appealing.

The Steelers already will be without running back Le’Veon Bell (suspension) for the first two games and center Maurkice Pouncey (broken fibula) for probably half the season at least.

They also lost backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski for the season with a hand injury, which prompted them to sign controversial Michael Vick to back up Ben Roethlisberger.

—Quarterback Robert Griffin III is cleared to play Saturday night in the Washington Redskins’ preseason game at Baltimore.

Griffin was diagnosed with a shoulder stinger and concussion at Detroit last week. He was sacked three times in a span of five plays and lost a fumble on which he likely suffered the head injury when Lions defensive end Corey Wootton pounced on the pile and landed on Griffin.

The Redskins said an independent neurologist cleared Griffin for Saturday’s game.

—Washington coach Jay Gruden confirmed that linebacker Junior Galette is out for the season with a torn left Achilles.

Galette will have surgery on Friday, the team said.

The injury ends Galette’s first season with the Redskins after just one month with the franchise. He signed a one-year contract on July 31.

—A hearing over a $75,000 fine of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch for not speaking to the media following the 2014 NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers was canceled Thursday.

Future compliance is expected by the NFL, according to NFL Network and ESPN, both citing sources that indicated an unknown resolution was reached in the matter.

The NFL fined Lynch $75,000 for not talking to the media after the game. It was the second fine for Lynch from that game as he also was levied a $20,000 penalty for grabbing his crotch after scoring a touchdown against the Packers.

—Amid a firestorm of criticism over his remarks to Rolling Stone about a healing elixir, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on Thursday clarified what he meant.

In the magazine feature released Wednesday, Wilson was quoted as saying a drink called Recovery Water was responsible for his speedy recuperation after he absorbed a vicious hit to the head by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in the NFC Championship Game.

On Thursday, Wilson clarified what he was trying to tell the Rolling Stone reporter: “I didn’t have any head injuries, but I was trying to say I think it helped prevent it. I think your brain consists of like 75 to 80 percent water, so I think that just being hydrated and drinking the Recovery Water really does help.”

—Former first-round pick EJ Manuel will start for the Buffalo Bills on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Manuel, the team’s top pick in 2013, will be the third starting quarterback the team has used this preseason. Matt Cassel started the opener and Tyrod Taylor started last week against the Cleveland Browns.

Coach Rex Ryan, who shuffled through quarterbacks in the last couple of years with the New York Jets, has said he won’t decide on a starter until just before the Bills open the season against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 13.

—Quarterback Johnny Manziel has no structural damage in his sore right elbow, but he will sit out the Browns’ preseason game on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their exhibition finale against the Chicago Bears.

Coach Mike Pettine said the Browns didn’t want to risk aggravating the elbow by playing Manziel in either game. Their preseason schedule ends next Thursday against the Bears.

With Manziel out, the Browns signed quarterback Pat Devlin and waived offensive lineman Ryan Seymour.

—Quarterback Ryan Mallett was not at the Houston Texans’ practice Thursday, three days after coach Bill O’Brien announced Brian Hoyer will open the season as the starter.

“That’s between Ryan and (me),” O’Brien said, per the Houston Chronicle. “That’s a personal issue with him.”

The Chronicle later reported that Mallett overslept and showed up for meetings after practice.

Mallett said he was “angry” at not being named the starter but was at practice Wednesday. Asked if Mallett would return for Friday’s practice, O’Brien said, “I would think so.”

—Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion has been suspended without pay for the first three games of the season, the NFL announced Thursday.

Guion had appealed the suspension, which reportedly was levied in July for a substance-abuse violation.

Guion was arrested Feb. 3 on felony charges that include possession of 357 grams of marijuana and possession of a firearm. He entered a no-contest plea in the case and paid a $5,000 fine.

—With Geno Smith sidelined by a broken jaw, the New York Jets are reconfiguring their quarterback roster.

On Thursday, they signed Josh Johnson and cut Jake Heaps.

Johnson, a seven-year veteran cut by the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday, joins a Jets QB group that includes Ryan Fitzpatrick, rookie Bryce Petty and recently signed Matt Flynn.

—Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, suspended four games for a violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, said he made one mistake and denies a pattern of self-sabotage requires he make major personal-life changes.

“Other than doing a bad mistake on one night? No, not really,” he told The New York Post. “Other than that, that’s the only thing I’d change. I’m pretty quiet off the field, honestly. I keep to myself, stay in my room, really. Play video games. I’m a regular old person, except I happen to be in the NFL.”

Richardson is facing potential additional punishment for a reckless driving violation.

—Pro Bowl wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will sit out until Week 1 of the season with a hamstring injury, Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said.

Leaving slightly open the possibility of Sanders to play sparingly if his health cooperates, Kubiak called it highly unlikely the Broncos would see Sanders in game action until Sept. 13.

Sanders hasn’t played this preseason and, with Kubiak’s new offense to learn, the Broncos might be in catchup mode entering the season. Demaryius Thomas has only three receptions in two games, with Manning completing 57.1 percent of his 14 passes.

—The Baltimore Ravens signed strong safety Will Hill to a two-year contract.

The deal replaces the one-year, $1.54 million tender he signed as a restricted free agent in March. He would have become an unrestricted free agent next year but now is signed through 2016.

Hill became a starter at midseason last year, displacing former first-round pick Matt Elam. With Elam missing this season with a torn biceps, Hill will start from Week 1 opposite free safety Kendrick Lewis.

—The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly waived injured linebacker Emmanuel Acho.

Acho underwent thumb surgery earlier this week. If he clears waivers, he will revert to the Eagles’ injured reserve.

Acho, 26, was a sixth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2012 and was traded to the Eagles in 2013 for running back Dion Lewis.

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