Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Bengals guard Bobbie Williams has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances, the team announced today.
Williams’ absence will leave a big hole on the right side of the Bengals offensive line. His listed backup Otis Hudson was a fifth-round pick in 2010 who doesn’t have experience, and the backup left guard, Max Jean-Gilles, was one of the team’s cuts today. Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner writes this would be a good opportunity for rookie Clint Boling to take a spot in the starting lineup.
“We anticipated this would occur," coach Marvin Lewis told the media, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It is nothing that has come as a surprise from our end and it is something we have prepared for.”
You’ll recall that I ranked Williams as a top-five guard before last season, but after 12 years in the league, it’s clear the 34-year-old Williams has begun to slow a bit.
And this four-game suspension won’t help his conditioning nor his top-notch reputation.
In other suspension news, Titans fullback Ahmard Hall has been suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. In response, the Titans have acquired fullback Quinn Johnson from Green Bay for an undisclosed draft pick to make up for Hall's absence.
UPDATED (6:56 p.m. ET): Williams' agent, Tony Agnone, was quick to defend his client.
“The program has run amuck,” Agnone told Bengals.com. “It was designed to keep guys from having a competitive edge. It was about taking steroids and now it has gotten far away from it.”
Agnone said Williams did not take steroids or recreational drugs. But he had other reason to be upset.
“First of all, Bobbie and I found out from you and not the league,” Agnone said. “Look at Bobbie. He has not changed one iota since he’s been in the league.”
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