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Offensive lineman Donald Stephenson gets two-game suspension for substance abuse violation

Offensive lineman Donald Stephenson was absent from organized team activities. He was absent from mandatory minicamp earlier this week.

He’ll be absent for the first two games of the regular season after being suspended by the NFL for two games without pay for violating the league’s policy for substances of abuse, the league announced Friday afternoon.

Stephenson, 29, will be eligible to return to the Browns’ roster Monday, Sept. 17 and play in Week 3 against the New York Jets on Thursday night at home.

Stephenson is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

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The Browns can cut Stephenson but haven’t yet made that decision.

He signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract as a free agent in March. He was brought in to add depth to the line and was considered an option to start at left tackle.

Stephenson is a six-year veteran. He spent four years with Kansas City after being drafted in the third round and the last two in Denver.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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