Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). It’s the second suspension in the last 14 months or so for Bailey, who missed the first two games of the 2014 season after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Bailey, who turns 25 this Wednesday, has been with the Rams since being selected in the third round of the 2013 draft. While he hasn’t played a huge role in the team’s offense, Bailey has been targeted 25 times this season, catching 12 balls for 182 yards and a touchdown. So his loss will be felt by Nick Foles and company in the coming weeks.
News of Bailey’s suspension also helps explain why the Rams were working out a handful of free agent receivers today, including Wes Welker, Hakeem Nicks, and Vincent Brown. At the time, I speculated that the team may be considering adding some veteran depth to an underwhelming receiving corps — with Bailey out for the next four weeks, Foles will have one fewer weapon on offense, increasing the need for depth at the position.
Bailey will miss games against the Bears, Ravens, Bengals, and Cardinals, and will be eligible to return to action for the Rams’ Week 14 tilt with the Lions.