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Los Angeles Rams OL Aaron Neary suspended for four games for violating the NFL substance abuse policy

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One of the Rams’ reserve O-linemen won’t be around until October.

Los Angeles Rams OL Aaron Neary (72) walks with RT Rob Havenstein (79) during training camp at UC Irvine, Jul. 28, 2018.
Los Angeles Rams OL Aaron Neary (72) walks with RT Rob Havenstein (79) during training camp at UC Irvine, Jul. 28, 2018.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams OL Aaron Neary has been suspended for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy per a league release:

Aaron Neary of the Los Angeles Rams has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse.

Neary is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Rams’ active roster on Monday, September 30, following the team’s September 29 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Worth noting this is the NFL policy on substances of abuse, not performance-enhancing substances. Per the policy:

The illegal use of drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol (hereinafter “Substances of Abuse”) is prohibited* for Players in the NFL.

* - The NFL and the NFLPA prohibit Players from the illegal use, possession, or distribution of drugs, including but not limited to cocaine; marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids; opiates and opioids; methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); and phencyclidine (PCP). The abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol is also prohibited. For example, the use of amphetamines and substances that induce similar effects, absent a verified and legitimate need for appropriate dosages of such substances to treat existing medical conditions, is prohibited.

Not sure what part of this he violated, but hoping whatever it is it’s recreational and not a larger substance abuse issue for Neary personally.

Neary has had two stints with the Rams. The first was the 2017 season throughout which Neary was on the practice squad before being called up to start in Week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers when the Rams sat their starters ahead of the playoffs. Neary was cut last season in the 53-man roster cuts but was brought back after Week 1 and was a mainstay on the practice squad all year.

In terms of impact on the team, I had Neary making the cut in my last 53-man roster projection. Neary won’t impact the roster on suspension for the first month, so that would free up a spot. The Rams will have a difficult decision to make heading into Week 5 now if they want to bring him back into the offensive line room or if this marks the beginning of the end of his time with the Rams.