Rams LB Vobora plans action after serving four-game suspension

ST. LOUIS -- Rams linebacker David Vobora took the majority of snaps with the first-string defense Wednesday in his first practice since serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

The second-year pro said Wednesday that he did nothing wrong and plans to file a lawsuit over the matter.

"The system is difficult because I made every move I possibly could to check on certain supplements, got it checked out a number of times through the NFL hotline, and they told me there was nothing that could possibly trigger positive tests," Vobora said.

Vobora said he was informed of the pending suspension in July, and he dropped his appeal of the decision. Vobora accepted the penalty after sustaining a concussion, which would have sidelined him for a week anyway.

Vobora said he has spoken to players who have used the same supplement without being suspended. He said he would advise teammates that you can never be too careful.

"If you call the hotline and say 'I've got a broccoli supplement,' they're going to say, 'Well, there's nothing in broccoli that would test positive, but you still take it at your own risk,'" Vobora said.

Vobora became a starter after being the final pick of the 2008 draft. He thanked the Rams for supporting him after he explained the situation to coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney.

During the suspension, Vobora said he worked out three times per day and watched the winless Rams' games on television. St. Louis plays at Detroit on Sunday.

"It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through," Vobora said. "It was definitely a humbling experience. It was a few times when it was hard not to tear the TV off the wall."

Spagnuolo said Vobora looked good his first day back at practice.

"He had some fresh legs," the coach said. "He did some kickoff stuff with the special teams and he was ahead of everybody."

The Rams also signed long snapper Ryan Neill to replace Chris Massey, who was lost for the season with a knee injury sustained in Sunday's 41-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Neill, who played for the Buffalo Bills in 2007 and 2008, prevailed in a four-player tryout Tuesday. He was cut in training camp and got the thumbs up from Rams punter Donnie Jones and kicker Josh Brown.

"When you're with somebody for 2½ years and all of a sudden you've got to switch, of course it's going to be different," Jones said. "But things happen, and you've got to adjust."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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