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Special teams star suspended four games

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers safety Jarrod Cooper
was suspended by the NFL for four games Wednesday for violating the
league's substance abuse policy.

The unpaid suspension begins immediately. Carolina's special
teams standout will be eligible to return for the final two games
of the regular season.

The punishment stems from Cooper's arrest in September for
driving while intoxicated, possession of a controlled substance,
speeding and driving with a revoked license.

Cooper already has been fined six game checks totaling $137,294
by the NFL for the September arrest and has said he is appealing
the fine.

He also has a drunken driving conviction from a one-car accident
in February 2002.

Cooper's suspension could allow the Panthers (8-2) to activate
wide receiver Kevin Dyson.

Dyson has been on the physically unable to perform list all
season after tearing his Achilles' tendon in June. He has practiced
the past two weeks and said he's ready to play; the Panthers have
until Monday to activate him or place him on injured reserve.