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Rams Release Starting LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar

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Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images.
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images.

The St. Louis Rams released LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, according to Howard Balzer.

Dunbar was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs (PED). Whether his alleged use of PEDs is related to his release is not yet known, but the suspension occurred nearly three weeks ago, so it's unlikely.

Dunbar refuted the reports that he took a performance-enhancing drug, and he claims that he "mistakenly took something that prompted a failed drug test." Due to the NFL’s policy regarding PEDs and disclosure, it's tough to tell if he's actually telling the truth. Rumors circulated recently that he didn't take PEDs, for whatever that's worth.

This was a surprising move considering the fact that Dunbar was expected to be the team’s starting weakside linebacker. He was productive last season, tallying 115 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He was particularly strong in run support, and the Rams will undoubtedly suffer in that area as a result of his release. Will Witherspoon is now expected to replace Dunbar in the starting lineup.

After a strong year, Dunbar should have no problem finding another team. He’s only 28 years old and still an effective player.