|St. Louis will be without Pettis until Week 3 of the 2012 season. (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
Rams rookie wide receiver Austin Pettis has been suspended four games without pay for violating NFL rules on performance-enhancing substances, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Ron Clements. This will keep him out of the Rams' two remaining 2011 regular-season games against the Steelers and 49ers, as well as the first two games of 2012.
“Austin’s situation is unfortunate,” St. Louis head coach Steve Spagnuolo said via the team's website. “Obviously, we are disappointed and will miss him during this suspension, but the NFL’s policies are very clear and we respect the League’s decision in this matter. We are unable to comment further on this matter or any aspect of the NFL’s Drug Policy.”
Pettis, a third-round pick out of Boise State, has appeared in 12 games (including three starts) and has 27 receptions for 256 yards (0 TDs). Injuries forced St. Louis to use Pettis as the No. 3 receiver for much of the season, and he's currently tied with Greg Salas for fourth on the team in receptions (behind Brandon Lloyd, Steven Jackson and Brandon Gibson).
The Rams travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Saturday in a game that could've been billed this summer as a matchup between two franchise quarterbacks. Instead, it will likely feature Kellen Clemens vs. Charlie Batch. Sam Bradford has a high-ankle sprain and he's likely done for the year. Ben Roethlisberger is also nursing a high-ankle sprain and despite his optimism, there's a chance he'll sit out Weeks 16 and 17 in preparation for the playoffs.
St. Louis, with just two wins this season, has little to play for besides Spagnuolo's job.
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