Reports from St. Louis on Wednesday say that Rams rookie WR Austin Pettis has been notified by the NFL that he is suspended for four games for violating the league's rules on performance-enhancing substances.
That means that Pettis, a third-round pick out of Boise State, will miss the Rams' final two games this season and the first two games of the 2012 campaign. He is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games but will not be paid for the four games he is forced to miss.
Pettis played in 12 games with three starts in his first year in the league. He has served as the team's No. 3 wideout for most of the second half of the season because of the rash of injuries the team has suffered at the WR position.
He finishes his season with 27 receptions for 256 yards and zero touchdowns. He also returns 15 punts for 139 yards (9.3 avg.).
The way we see it
The loss of Pettis, one of three receivers selected in the first four rounds of the 2011 draft by the Rams, further decimates a receiving corps that steadily began losing manpower when slot specialist Danny Amendola was lost in Week One. Pettis had his moments and is considered a likely keeper next season. He had at least three catches in five of the last seven games, including four catches for 38 yards in the Week 15 loss to the Bengals.