The NFL won’t say much about player suspensions under the substance-abuse policy, beyond the obvious. But what the league says often implies plenty.
For example, a player who receives a four-game suspension under the substance-abuse policy necessarily has violated the policy multiples times. Likewise, a player who receives a one-game suspension likely was suspended due to some violation of the law.
In the case of Rams running back Isaiah Pead, his one-game suspension likely means that there was some incident that triggered a guilty plea, a conviction, a no contest plea, entry into a diversionary program, or some other deferred disposition. Based on the specific language of the policy, it’s likely not alcohol, since a first-offense for alcohol typically involves only a two-game fine.
There have been no reports or accounts of Pead facing, or resolving, criminal charges of any kind.
Either way, the league is saying nothing. Likewise, Pead’s agent, Rick Smith, has not responded to a request for comment.
Pead will be eligible to practice with the team and participate in the preseason. But the suspension most likely means that Daryl Richardson, a seventh-round pick in 2012 who leapfrogged Pead on the depth chart, will be the starter when the Rams host the Cardinals to start the 2013 season.