A source has informed Three-Way Chili that Bengals defensive end Antwan Odom will be suspended 4 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
I cannot personally confirm this news and the Bengals’ PR department had not returned my calls at of the time of this post.
The source tells me that Odom is currently appealing the decision and that’s why nothing has been made public (until now). I have no idea how long the appeals process takes and whether Odom will be able to play in Sunday’s opener at New England.
Odom – who the Bengals signed as a free agent in 2008 – was on his way to a career-year last season before going down with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He still ended up leading the Bengals with eight sacks despite playing in just six games
So, is there truth to our report that he will miss four games this season as a suspension for using PEDs? We’ll eventually find out.
UPDATE (5:45 p.m. EST): ProFootballTalk.com posted a blurb about our report and confirmed the news. (We leave it to the real pros to actually confirm the intel.) So, Odom is indeed out four weeks and now I have to take my source out for dinner. Well, I don’t have to. But I better if I still want a good source that can provide Bengals inside information.
As for how this affects the team, honestly, I was skeptical that Odom would be effective so soon after such a serious injury. Pass-rushing defensive ends rely on their quickness and explosion off the ball and there is no way he was close to 100 percent less than a year after Achilles surgery. Odom wasn’t all that impressive in the preseason and I think the very-underrated Jonathan Fanene can fill in just fine while Odom is out. Also, the Bengals have second-round pick Carlos Dunlap who looked good in the preseason and will see immediate playing time in a reserve role. In addition, Michael Johnson — who has been moved to strong-side linebacker — can move back to DE on occasion. The Bengals also have former third-rounder Frostee Rucker still on the roster at DE. He likely would have been inactive on game days, but one would think he’d have to make the 45-man roster now.