Jo-Lonn Dunbar banned 4 games

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar has been suspended the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Wednesday.

After the team's afternoon special teams practice, Dunbar offered a short statement and explanation for the suspension. He did not take questions and coach Jeff Fisher did not comment.

"First and foremost, I just want to say I did not take a performance-enhancing drug," Dunbar said. "I mistakenly took something that prompted a failed drug test. I want to say that I sincerely apologize to my teammates, the organization, coach Fisher, (Les) Snead (Rams general manager), my family and friends. I am deeply saddened by this but I plan to serve my four-game suspension and get back to playing football as soon as possible."

Dunbar, who started all 16 games for the Rams in 2012, will be eligible to return to the team's active roster on Sept. 27, one day after the team plays San Francisco at home in a Thursday night contest.

According to league rules, Dunbar remains eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.

Dunbar finished second on the team in tackles in 2012 with 115 after signing with the Rams from New Orleans in the offseason. He added 4.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions.

Entering his sixth year in the league, Dunbar is scheduled to count $2.3 million against this year's salary cap. This is the final year of a two-year contract, making Dunbar an unrestricted free agent after this season.