LB Thurman faces indefinite suspension after failed drug test

NEW YORK -- Former Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman is facing an indefinite suspension after violating the league's substance abuse policy, a source with knowledge of the situation said today.

Thurman, who missed the past two seasons because of suspensions tied to drug and alcohol use, could not be reached for comment.

His agent, Safarrah Lawson, said: "We have not been notified of that at this point. I have no knowledge."

As a second-round draft choice in 2005, Thurman led the Bengals with 148 tackles, four forced fumbles and five interceptions. He was suspended by the league for four games in July 2006 for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The suspension was extended for the rest of the year after Thurman was arrested Sept. 25 for drunk driving. He later admitted in court that he is an alcoholic.

Thurman applied for reinstatement before the 2007 season, but his appeal was denied. Commissioner Roger Goodell lifted the suspension April 21, 2008, but the Bengals waived him last month when he failed to show up for offseason workouts, citing the death of his grandmother.

"His grandmother's been buried for quite a while. Don't get into his whole family structure," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis recently told local reporters. "We've been patient enough with Odell."

Lawson said Thurman has received inquires from other clubs, but postponed a planned visit with an unspecified team because "he's still dealing with some family issues."

Both the league and the Bengals had no comment on Thurman.

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