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Bills RB Lynch receives three-game suspension

RB Lynch suspended three games; to appeal (

ESPN is reporting that the National Football League has suspended Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch for the first three games of the 2009 regular season.  The suspension comes after Lynch's February arrest, his second violation of the league's personal conduct policy in nine months.  ESPN's Michael Smith is reporting that Lynch is expected to appeal the suspension in an effort to get the three-game total reduced.

Lynch was arrested in February and faced felony charges for a concealed firearm, though he actually was only charged with one misdemeanor.  He pleaded guilty to said misdemeanor gun charge in March and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and three years' probation.  The incident occurred barely nine months after Lynch pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor traffic violation in June of 2008.  He was not suspended after the first incident.

Lynch met with league commissioner Roger Goodell last month to discuss his latest legal run-in.  He told Buffalo media after the meeting that he expected a suspension and apologized publicly for the incident.

As mentioned, Buffalo's third-year running back will appeal the suspension.  Last year, Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall received a three-game suspension, which was eventually reduced to one game upon appeal and after Marshall completed counseling during his one-week suspension.  There is a chance - though it's not a certainty - that Lynch may be afforded a similar opportunity.

The Bills have hosted several veteran free agent running backs in anticipation of this suspension.  The most recent of those, former 49er and Viking Maurice Hicks, remains on the open market.  Cecil Sapp, a RB/FB hybrid who most recently played in Houston, is scheduled to visit sometime within the next few days.  Meanwhile, backup running back Fred Jackson continues to seek a new contract.