Originally created 09/30/03

Falcons linebacker returns from four-game suspension



FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons linebacker Keith Newman returned to the team Monday after a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on substance abuse.

He could start Sunday against the undefeated Minnesota Vikings, since starters Sam Rogers and Will Overstreet likely won't play.

"Sundays were the toughest time because the guys were out there playing and I couldn't be a part of it because I made a mistake that was my own fault," Newman said.

Newman played his first four seasons in Buffalo. Former Bills coach Wade Phillips, now in his second year as Atlanta's defensive coordinator, selected Newman in the fourth round of 1999 draft.