Sugg#039;s activation creates conflict with Green#039;s return

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2003

BEREA - After serving a one-game suspension, Cleveland Browns running back William Green was expected to return for this Sunday's game.

Now that doesn't seem so certain.

Rookie running back Lee Suggs was activated Wednesday by the Browns, a move that could mean Green will not be back.

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Green was suspended by coach Butch Davis for last week's game in Kansas City ''for conduct detrimental to the team'' after being arrested on Oct. 27 for charges of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.

Earlier this week, Davis said he anticipated Green would play Sunday against Arizona. However, following Wednesday's practice Davis would not comment on Green's playing status.

''I don't have anything to say about it,'' Davis said.

Green, who leads the Browns with 559 rushing yards, also faces a possible suspension from the NFL if he was in the league's substance abuse program before his arrest.

Green was twice suspended for marijuana use while at Boston College, and may have already been enrolled in the league's drug program. If he is a repeat offender, the league could suspend him for four games.

On Tuesday, the NFL Players Association said the Browns violated the collective bargaining agreement by suspending Green. NFLPA president Gene Upshaw expects a grievance to be filed against the team.

Browns president Carmen Policy defended the club's right to discipline Green.

''The suspension of William for the Kansas City game was for reasons that were in addition to the arrest, the DUI and the possession charge,'' he said. ''I think a team should be able to do what we did in view of the circumstances surrounding the situation.''

Green has not spoken to the media since his arrest.

Davis did say that Policy had been in contact with the NFLPA and the league regarding Green's situation on Wednesday.

Suggs had been on the physically-unable-to-perform list after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Browns, who were aware of Suggs' injury when they picked him.

Cleveland, ravaged by injuries all season, also lost starting tight end Steve Heiden and defensive tackle Alvin McKinley for the remainder of the season.

Davis said Heiden sustained a severe ankle injury during the second quarter of last Sunday's game and may need surgery.

McKinley suffered a torn medial collateral ligament against the Chiefs.

Both players were placed on injured reserve.

To fill the roster vacancies, the Browns signed free agent tackle Michael Myers and brought tight end Chad Mustard up from the practice squad.

Myers started 25 games over the past six years with the Dallas Cowboys before being waived last month.