CLEVELAND (AP) – Armonty Bryant’s breakout season got sidetracked on Christmas morning.
The Browns linebacker, who has had legal problems in the past, was arrested Friday along with practice squad safety De’Ante Saunders after they were stopped on an area highway.
Bryant was arrested for the possession of Adderrall because he couldn’t provide a prescription for the drug, which is on the NFL’s list of banned substances. Prosecutors will decide whether he will be charged.
The 25-year-old Bryant, who has recorded 5½ sacks while making 14 starts in his third season with Cleveland, did not travel with the team for Sunday’s game in Kansas City.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer issued a statement Saturday critical of the players’ behavior.
“These are charges that we take very seriously,” Farmer said. “The importance of responsible decision-making is something we continually stress to all members of our organization, which makes it extremely disappointing that these two individuals would put themselves in this situation by making such poor decisions.”
Farmer added the incident is subject to the league’s personal conduct policy.
Saunders was cited for driving under the influence after he was pulled over on Interstate-71 in suburban Brook Park at 2:16 a.m. Friday, according to a State Highway Patrol citation. He was driving 75 mph in a 60 mph zone.
Saunders, 23, refused a breath test, according to the citation, meaning he automatically loses his license for a year.
In addition, a handgun was confiscated from Saunders’ car, said patrol spokesman Lt. Craig Cvetan. Information about the gun will be forwarded to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for potential charges, since Saunders does not have a concealed weapons permit, Cvetan said.
Saunders is scheduled for a hearing Monday morning in Berea Municipal Court.
Bryant’s legal issues date back to his college days. He was drafted in the seventh round in 2013 from East Central Oklahoma, where he was twice arrested for selling marijuana to an undercover officer on campus. Bryant pleaded no contest to a felony charge of marijuana distribution in a school zone, received a deferred sentence and was suspended for three games.
The Browns were aware of his past when they drafted him and then just days after selecting him, Bryant was arrested for driving under the influence in Ada, Oklahoma.
He played in 12 games as a rookie but was limited to just five last season, when he tore knee ligaments and had surgery. The Browns have been pleased with his development this season and were encouraged that he had seemingly turned his life around. Bryant has been one of the few bright spots for Cleveland’s struggling defense.
Saunders has been on Cleveland’s practice squad.
The Browns (3-11) will visit the Chiefs on Sunday before ending the regular season at home against Pittsburgh on Jan. 3.
Associated Press Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report.
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