Rams preparing for Stedman Bailey's return

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- ESPN NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported Monday afternoon that upon the completion of the new NFL drug policy, St. Louis Rams receiver Stedman Bailey is one of 20 players who will be reinstated.

According to the report, the deal is expected to be finalized in the next 24 hours. While Rams coach Jeff Fisher isn't yet sure of the specifics, he did confirm Monday night that the team is taking steps to prepare to welcome Bailey back to the fold.

"We have been hearing for four or five days that they're going to vote and they have a list of those who should be reinstated," Fisher said. "There was some talk about it even as late as Friday and Saturday. I haven't heard anything.

"We released (defensive tackle) Matt Conrath to clear the roster spot in the event that it does happen over the next couple of days."

Bailey was originally suspended four games on May 13 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. He has served half of that suspension so far but wouldn't actually have been scheduled to return until after Week 5 because the team has a Week 4 bye.

A third-round draft choice out of West Virginia in 2013, Bailey didn't play much early as a rookie but got more opportunities near the end of last season. He finished with 17 catches for 226 yards and had a rushing touchdown.

During the preseason and training camp, Bailey was one of the team's better performing receivers and if he's reinstated soon could factor into the mix quickly. That's especially true considering Tavon Austin is dealing with what Fisher called a sprained knee suffered in Sunday's win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fisher did not rule out Austin playing this week but getting Bailey back would certainly provide some insurance in case Austin is unable to play.