(KMOV) -- After serving his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs, Jo-Lonn Dunbar is now back with the Rams.
He was signed on Tuesday and was back on the practice field. Head Coach Jeff Fisher says he's happy to have Dunbar, who was second on the team in tackles last season, back on the field.
"He's really excited. We're excited," said Fisher. "We're glad to have him. Good timing - we don't know where (LB) Will's (Witherspoon) going to be this week, so it's good timing." Witherspoon pulled a hamstring in last Sunday's loss to the 49ers.
Dunbar missed a lot of time on the practice field and in the meeting room during his suspension.
According to league rules players suspended for PED use, as opposed to substance abuse, are not allowed any contact with the team.
"Absolutely not," said Fisher. "There’s a significant difference between both the suspensions. When you have the performance enhancing, the competitive suspension, there’s no contact permitted whatsoever. Now even though that he was not technically on our roster, no one is permitted to have contact with a player that’s under that suspension’s guidelines. Now the other one, the substance abuse, they are permitted to be in the facility and do everything except for practice.”
Dunbar won't be the only new face on the Rams defense Sunday against the Jaguars. Fisher also has to replace starting safety T.J. McDonald, who's out for at least eight weeks with a broken leg.
Fisher said "From a competitive standpoint, we’ll start two safeties this week. We did have to let (T) Max Starks go to create the spot for Jo-Lonn. We appreciate his effort and everything. He was great to have in the locker room for a couple weeks. Then, we made a practice squad roster move. We released (FB) Eric Stevens and signed (CB) Darren Woodard back because we need legs in the secondary.”