Rams starting right guard Jamon Brown, suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, said Thursday that the suspension stemmed from a 2017 incident in Kentucky that involved marijuana.
Brown still worked with the first-team offense Thursday as the Rams held their first training camp practice at UC Irvine.
Brown, a fourth-year pro from Louisville, said that before last season he was pulled over for speeding and that police found marijuana in the car.
Brown, 25, issued an apology to coaches, teammates and fans after his suspension was announced this month. He said Thursday that he had been up front with coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead from the outset and was caught off guard by the league’s action.
“I wasn’t really ready for the suspension, so to speak, just because of the advice and some of the intel we was getting from the players’ association,” he said.
Brown can practice and participate in preseason games. McVay indicated that Brown would probably start when he returns for a Week 3 game against the Chargers.
“We’ll anticipate Jamon coming back in after those first couple weeks,” the coach said, “but you do certainly have some plans and some contingency plans in place where we’ll start to get some other guys in there. Get them a chance to get a couple reps with the first-team group.
“But just being in Day 1, he’s a starting-caliber player and that’s kind of how we wanted to operate.”
Second-year pro Austin Blythe started one game last season and is regarded as a possible replacement for Brown in the first two games. Rookies Brian Allen and Joseph Noteboom also could be evaluated for the spot.
Blythe said he would be ready if called upon.
“I’ve put myself in a good position,” he said, “but at the same time I’m continuing to work to improve myself, and if opening day comes and I’m the one who’s got to run out of the tunnel, I’m prepared for it and confident.”
Brown, a third-round draft pick in 2015, was scheduled to earn about $2.1 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract.
Asked if he was concerned about how the suspension might affect him in a contract year, he said he would let the situation play out. Brown said he hoped that being forthright with McVay and Snead would help.
“I don’t think that it would be [a problem] but we’ll see,” he said.
“A little more pep in his step — I don’t know why,” quarterback Jared Goff joked.
Goff praised Gurley as one of his best-ever teammates, citing the 2017 NFL offensive player of the year’s unselfishness.
“There’s so much stuff that doesn’t go on a stat sheet that people don’t see and makes him a good guy to have back there,” Goff said.
Goff, preparing for his third season, said it felt like the offense picked up where it left off during organized-team activities.
“Which is good,” he said. “We had a really good spring and we’re able to build off that as time goes on.”
McVay offered no update on defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is absent because of a contract dispute. “That dialogue is ongoing,” he said. “I know that we are proactively trying to find a solution to that.”… McVay is feeling comfortable as he begins his second training camp. “I think there’s a comfort level in terms of just knowing the players a little bit better,” he said, “kind of having an understanding of what the structure of a normal day is.”… Safety Lamarcus Joyner, who had been placed on the non-football injury list Wednesday, was added to the roster and practiced. … Linebacker Ramik Wilson intercepted a pass by Goff. … Tight end Tyler Higbee made an impressive catch on a pass by Sean Mannion. ... Cornerback Aqib Talib broke up a Goff pass intended for Robert Woods. Talib, who oversees a youth football organization in Texas, said he does not intend to become a coach when his NFL career ends. “I’m [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones at the house,” he joked. “ I just run the system. I got coaches who coach. I just run the show.”
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein