The NFL has confirmed that defensive tackle Darrell Russell has been suspended indefinitely for being a repeat violator of the league's substance abuse policy.
ESPN reported on July 14 that Russell's release by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was preceded in June by a positive test for alcohol, a banned substance in the player's treatment program.
Russell's positive test was his seventh infraction of the league's policy since he was the second overall player selected by the Raiders in the 1997 draft. Russell missed 1½ years while serving two league suspensions before he played in eight games in 2003 for the Redskins.
Currently a free agent, Russell can apply for reinstatement at midseaon, but would have to undergo an extensive evaluation before being able to play again in the NFL. Sources said such a reinstatement request wouldn't be warmly embraced by NFL comissioner Paul Tagliabue.