Bucs tight end Jerramy Stevens has been suspended without pay by the NFL for Sunday's contest vs. the Atlanta Falcons for violating the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy. He also has been fined an additional game check as well after being charged with driving under the influence and marijuana possession in Arizona back in March. He will be eligible to return to the team on Monday, Dec. 17.

A jury found him guilty of DUI and traffic violations in a court case in September and sentenced him to 30 days and more than $3,100 in fines in October. Scottsdale judge B. Monte Morgan ruled that Stevens wouldn't have to serve 18 days of his sentence as long as he completes an alcohol program according to a story on ESPN.com back in October.

"The League office informed us this morning that Jerramy Stevens will be suspended for the Atlanta game this Sunday," Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said in a statement on Tuesday. "When we signed Jerramy this spring, we knew there was a possibility that he could face some type of disciplinary action from the NFL for his prior actions."

The ESPN.com story also stated that Stevens' attorney, James Nesci, had appealed the sentence to Maricopa County Superior Court, which means Stevens won't serve his time until that body decides on the case. Allen has been happy with Stevens' behavior on and off the field so far this season.

Stevens was signed to a one-year deal as a free-agent by the Bucs during the off-season despite his past troubles with the law. He has stayed out of trouble since signing with Tampa Bay and caught a 4-yard touchdown from quarterback Luke McCown in a 27-23 victory vs. New Orleans two weeks ago.

"Since he has been with the Buccaneers, Jerramy has been a great teammate and productive player for our team," Allen said in the same statement.

Stevens came to the Bucs with a checkered past after playing five seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, including in the Super Bowl XL loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In June 2003, Stevens pleaded guilty to reckless driving in a plea deal after being stopped in a Seattle suburb for investigation of drunk driving and received a two-day jail sentence.

He also received a five-day sentence in jail for violating his probation after driving into a nursing home in a hit-and-run case in 2000. He was currently attending the University of Washington at the time.

Stevens has 10 receptions for 86 yards (8.6 avg.) with the Bucs so far this season. His suspension leaves the Bucs with tight ends Alex Smith and Anthony Becht on the active roster for Sunday's game. Stevens wasn't available for comment on Tuesday which is the players' day off.

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