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Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham suspended for season opener

Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham suspended for season opener Photo:

Buffalo Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham has been suspended one game for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the league announced Wednesday.

With Kiko Alonso expected to miss the 2014 season after undergoing knee surgery, Bradham is considered a strong candidate to start at weak-side linebacker. From Syracuse.com:

"It hasn't just been his camp, he's been outstanding since we came back in the offseason program even before we got to work on OTAs and things like that," Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said on Monday. "He's shown a very serious, professional attitude, he’s been into it. Even before a guy like Kiko Alonso get's hurt, now there's even more of an opportunity for a guy like Bradham. He's been very, very good mentally as far as picking the scheme up, he's good in coverage, and he's improving as a run defender also."

Bradham was ticketed with marijuana possession in August 2013.

He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games and can return to the active roster on Monday, Sept. 8. 

A fourth-round pick out of Florida State in 2012, Bradham, 24, started two games and recorded 29 tackles last season.

More: Kiko Alonso injury may derail Bills' plans for breakthrough year​ 

Bills will look to defense for success this season

Sports Illustrated's Don Banks gives his takeaways from Bills camp where EJ Manuel's early performances might raise some concerns.

-- Chris Johnson

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