Watkins joins NFC West suspension list

The St. Louis Rams hoped 2012 fifth-round draft choice Rokevious Watkins would compete for a starting job at guard last season.

Watkins reported to training camp overweight, then suffered a season-ending ankle injury. His second shot at winning a starting job took a hit Wednesday when the NFL announced Watkins would serve a one-game suspension for violating its policy on substance abuse.

Watkins becomes the third NFC West player hit with a suspension recently. Arizona's Daryl Washington and Seattle's Bruce Irvin will serve four-game suspensions to open the season.

Suspended players remain eligible to practice and play in preseason games. Watkins is competing with Shelley Smith, Chris Williams and Barrett Jones, among others, for playing time at left guard. Smith would be the favorite to start based on 2012 performance.

Watkins' grip on a roster spot appears tenuous.