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Lions president anticipates suspensions for troubled players


Lions team president Tom Lewand said he expected suspensions from the league for three players involved in alcohol or drug-related charges this offseason.

The Lions have had quite the offseason, with defensive tackle Nick Fairley arrested on separate charges of marijuana possession and driving under the influence of alcohol, running back Mikel Leshoure twice cited for possession of marijuana and offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath arrested for possession of marijuana.

“(S)uspensions are certainly something that could be a possibility and I would say are likely if you look at similar types of incidences on other teams,” Lewand said during an appearance on WXYT-FM, via the Detroit Free Press. “But typically what the commissioner likes to do is see it play out in the legal process, see the matter is adjudicated because we can’t lose sight of the fact, and I’m not making excuses for anybody, trust me, but the reason the commissioner lets the legal process play out is because of the time-honored tradition of innocent until proven guilty.”

The owner’s already chimed in, and Lewand has already discussed the situation with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, so he probably has a decent idea what’s in store.

“Obviously there’s tremendous disappointment in any negative interaction with law enforcement,” Lewand said. “We’ve expressed that several times. There has to be accountability, there will be accountability; there has been already and there will be more obviously as the commissioner reviews all the cases and hopefully it’s all to the end that these guys learn their lessons.”

Of course, there’s a level of accountability the Lions have to bear in this one too. There were red flags during the pre-draft evaluations of Fairley and Leshoure in particular, but the Lions chose to ignore them in favor of drafting talented players.