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Bills LB Nigel Bradham suspended for opening game

The Buffalo Bills suffered another blow to their linebackers corps.

The NFL announced Wednesday it suspended Nigel Bradham without pay for the first game of the 2014 regular season for violating the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Bradham will be eligible to return to the Bills' active roster on Monday, Sept. 8 following the team's Week 1 game against the Chicago Bears. He is able to participate in all preseason practices and games.

Bradham told reporters the suspension stemmed from a marijuana possession charge back in August 2013, per Chris Brown of the team's official website.

"It's unfortunate," coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday. "Nigel has been playing very well. And just his maturity has improved off the field."

The 24-year-old, third-year pro had been taking starting reps on the weak side of Jim Schwartz's defense in place of the injured Kiko Alonso.

It remains to be seen how missing the opening game will shuffle the lineup.

Rookie third-round pick Preston Brown was talked up as a possible replacement in the immediate aftermath of Alonso's injury. Veteran Keith Rivers will also be in consideration to start Week 1 in the key weakside spot.

The latest Around The League Podcast visits with former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and discusses the best of the early training-camp surprises.

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