As we confirmed during tonight's OBR Radio program, Browns center Alonzo Ephraim will be suspended by the NFL for four regular season games due to a
substance abuse violation. As reported
by Pat McManamon this evening, it's believed that violation was for a
previous incident prior to Ephraim joining the Cleveland Browns.
Thanks also to Jeff Schudel of the Lake County News-Herald for confirming the
information for OBR Radio listeners during the broadcast.
The suspension leaves the Browns precariously thin at a position which has
already been chaotic since training camp opened in July.
In a bizarrely improbable succession of events, four centers have been made
unavailable to the Browns since the first day of camp. LeCharles Bentley was
injured on the first play of camp, backup center Bob Hallen acquired a
previously unsuspected and still unconfirmed "back problem", undrafted free
agent Rob Smith rolled his ankle, and now Ephraim has been lost for four game
due to this suspension.
The net result has left Browns fans in the OBR forums considering the value
of animal sacrifices and other rituals as a possible means of protecting
remaining center Ross Tucker.
Sources have confirmed for the OBR that Tucker was already working with the
first-string and was considered the starting center for this Friday's pre-season
game against the Detroit Lions. At present, there are no other centers on the Browns roster.
- Barry McBride