Bengals' Thurman suspended for season
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman, already banned for the first four games of 2006 for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, was suspended Wednesday for the rest of the season following his arrest on a charge of drunken driving.
Thurman was arrested about 3 a.m. Monday, hours after the Bengals beat division rival Pittsburgh 28-20.
Police said Thurman's blood alcohol was 0.18 percent when he was arrested, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent in Ohio. Thurman is due in court Oct. 2, the day his initial suspension for missing a drug test was to end.
The Bengals were on the practice field when the suspension was announced, and coach Marvin Lewis was not immediately available for comment. Earlier, quarterback Carson Palmer noted that he saw Thurman cleaning out his locker at Paul Brown Stadium.
"I think everybody saw that and realized at some point you're not going to get a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance," Palmer said.
"It comes down to decision-making. Coach Lewis is fed up with harping on Odell about doing the right thing at the right time and not being at the wrong place at the wrong time," Palmer said. "At some point, I think Marvin's done with it."
But Palmer said the actions of his teammates -- six Bengals players have faced various charges since December -- have had no effect on the play of the 3-0 team.
"I think we've got a couple guys who've gotten mixed up and made bad decisions," Palmer said. "In no way will that affect the rest of this team or any other individual players."
At a news conference Monday, Lewis was critical of Thurman's behavior
"I am not pleased," Lewis said then. "It's not right, it's not what we stand for, it's not what the National Football League should represent."
Thurman, a second-round draft pick from Georgia last year, started all but one game in 2005. His arrest came less than a week after commissioner Roger Goodell visited Cincinnati and reminded players of their responsibility to stay out of trouble and represent the league honorably.
"He just obviously doesn't understand the privilege and the right to play in the National Football League," Lewis said. "This will probably be dealt with very severely."
Henry has been arrested four times and convicted twice, avoiding jail time so far. He pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in northern Kentucky, and this month pleaded guilty to a weapon charge in Orlando, Fla.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press