CLEVELAND — Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway has stepped out of bounds again.
The NFL suspended Callaway four games without pay Friday for an unspecified violation of the league’s policy and program on substance abuse. Callaway will sit out the first four regular-season games.
The 22-year-old can practice and play in preseason games before his suspension begins. He will be eligible to return to the Browns’ active roster on Sept. 30.
Callaway started Thursday night’s exhibition opener against Washington because Browns coach Freddie Kitchens rested star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Callaway said in a news release sent by the Browns. “I made a mistake and I own that. I have taken steps to make myself better and I appreciate the Browns standing by me and supporting me during this time. I know there’s nothing I can say to regain trust; it will all be about my actions.”
Kitchens said Callaway will have his unwavering support so long as he does his part.
The Browns drafted Callaway in the fourth round in 2018 despite his troubled stay at Florida, where he had a series of off-field issues ranging from a suspension for using stolen credit cards to a sexual assault allegation for which he was cleared.
Before being drafted, he had a diluted urine sample at the NFL combine, and then Callaway got off to a rough start with the Browns last year when he was cited for marijuana possession following a traffic stop in August.
The speedy Callaway played in all 16 games as a rookie, starting 11. He finished with 43 catches for 586 yards and five touchdowns. He also returned five punts.
Brown files grievance over helmet
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown has reportedly filed a grievance with the NFL over a league rule that prevents him from wearing his 10-year-old helmet.
ESPN reported that Brown had a two-hour conference call Friday with an independent arbitrator to state his case for why he should be able to use a helmet that is no longer certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. League and union representatives were also on the call and ESPN reported a ruling could come as early as next week.
Brown has not participated in a full practice for the Raiders after starting training camp on the non-football injury list with injuries to his feet that reportedly came from frostbite suffered while getting cryotherapy treatment in France. Brown was cleared to practice on July 28 and participated in part of two sessions but hasn’t been around the team the past few days.
Brown’s Schutt Air Advantage helmet is not allowed to be worn because of a league policy that players must wear helmets that are NOCSAE certified, a person in the league said on condition of anonymity because the commissioner’s office was not talking publicly about the issue. NOCSAE won’t recertify his helmet because it is more than 10 years old.
Kaepernick ready to compete to play
PHILADELPHIA — Colin Kaepernick is eager to prove he’s good enough to play in the NFL.
A person close to Kaepernick told The Associated Press on Friday: “Colin has always been prepared to compete at the highest level and is in the best shape of his life.” The person spoke anonymously because of the confidential nature of discussions with teams.
The 31-year-old Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. He helped start a wave of protests about social and racial injustice that season by kneeling during the national anthem at games. He drew strong criticism from President Donald Trump.
But Trump on Friday told reporters when asked if Kaepernick should play in the NFL: “Only if he’s good enough. I know the owners, I know Bob Kraft. They will do anything they can to win games.”
Kaepernick released a video earlier this week saying: “5 a.m. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready.”
Broncos: Denver has placed tight end Austin Fort on injured reserve and signed free agent offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty.
Fort was making a strong push to become the Broncos’ latest undrafted gem. He tore his left ACL in Denver’s 22-14 loss at Seattle on Thursday night.
The Broncos entered training camp deep at tight end, but the only ones who haven’t been hurt this summer are first-round pick Noah Fant and free agent pickup Moral Stephens.
Bisnowaty is a 2017 sixth-round draft pick by the New York Giants out of Pitt.
Colts: Coach Frank Reich said he expects quarterback Andrew Luck to miss at least three more practices with a strained left calf, likely keeping him off the field until Wednesday, when the Browns come to town for a joint practice. The injury kept Luck out of the Colts’ offseason workouts and he was sidelined again after practicing three times over the first four days of training camp, though he never took a snap in full team drills.
Eagles: Philadelphia acquired defensive end Eli Harold, a former University of Virginia standout, in a trade that sent rookie offensive lineman Ryan Bates to the Bills.
Harold has four seasons of NFL experience and proved to be the odd man out in Buffalo after signing with the Bills in April. The 25-year-old has nine sacks in 61 career games, including 24 starts.
Bates was an undrafted free agent out of Penn State, where he started 12 games at tackle last season.
Also, the team could have backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld available again in about six weeks after successful surgery Friday.
A source close to the situation confirmed that scenario, first reported by ESPN. The optimistic prognosis presumably means Sudfeld’s break did not result in a dislocation.
Sudfeld, a sixth-round draft pick out of Indiana by the Washington Redskins in the 2016 draft, left Thursday night’s Eagles preseason loss to the Titans just before halftime after falling backward from a late hit and bracing himself with his left wrist, which crumpled. Sudfeld left the field in an air cast, and after the game Eagles coach Doug Pederson confirmed a break.