The NFL suspended Green Bay Packers reserve linebacker Lamont Hollinquest yesterday for four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The Packers had signed Hollinquest to a one-year contract on Tuesday, four days after he was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs. Since he signed for the veteran minimum of $400,000, the suspension will cost Hollinquest about $94,000.
Hollinquest, 28, will be eligible to participate in training camp workouts, but will miss the first four regular season games.
Hollinquest, a former Redskin, would not identify the substance for which he tested positive, but confirmed to the Green Bay Press-Gazette he tested positive twice over a short span of time this spring, prompting the suspension.
VIKINGS: Gary Anderson, the first perfect kicker in NFL history, says the league's new kicking rules will make it next to impossible for anybody to duplicate his impeccable season. This season, whenever a kicker lines up for a field goal, an official will swap the game ball for a new one that hasn't been thrown, carried, or caught. The league wants to prevent any possible tampering with balls, especially by kickers and punters. "It's like maybe telling a tennis player with a really good serve, `We're going to give you a soft ball so you can't serve as hard,' " Anderson said.
Meantime, Dimitrius Underwood's agent said he still didn't know where the AWOL rookie was hiding out but held out hope that his troubled client would return to the training camp in Mankato, Minn.
Coach Dennis Green, however, sounded as though the first-round pick might not be welcomed back.
"Once a guy walks out, I don't think you'll find another player on this team that can count on the guy regardless of what the situation was," Green said.
Underwood, a 6-6, 276-pound defensive end from Michigan State and the 29th pick in the NFL draft, mysteriously vanished after his first pro practice Monday, walking out of his dorm and catching a cab out of town.
LIONS: Rookie Aaron Gibson, expected to start at right tackle, might be lost for the season with a shoulder injury. And quarterback Donald Hollas, signed Tuesday night to compete for a backup job, went home after one day of workouts, telling Coach Bobby Ross that he didn't have the desire to play. Former Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus, who was cut to make room for Hollas, has agreed to rejoin the team.
JETS: The right cornerback slot was effectively decided when veteran Otis Smith broke his left collarbone during morning workouts. The 10th-year player, who was being pushed by Ray Mickens for a starting role, will be sidelined for up to seven weeks.
BUCCANEERS: An autopsy of former player Demetrius DuBose showed he was shot six times in the back during a confrontation with police last month, DuBose's family said. DuBose, 28, a linebacker for Tampa Bay and Notre Dame, was fatally shot July 24 by two officers who said he charged at them with a martial arts weapon he took from them.
STADIUM: NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told Calfornia Gov. Gray Davis the league will investigate other potential stadium sites for an expansion team in the Los Angeles area following failed negotiations involving the Coliseum. Meanwhile, Eli Broad, the head of one of the groups vying for the expansion franchise, released a letter he sent to the NFL earlier this week proposing his group pay a $2 million non-refundable fee for a 60-day option to acquire the franchise at the Coliseum. Broad's proposal includes more public funds than previously offered, but doesn't make clear how he will be able to change authorities' minds on that issue. The Coliseum bid has been in doubt because the state is not willing to spend as much taxpayer money as the NFL has requested.