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Rams release LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, give Eugene Sims 2-year contract extension

The St. Louis Rams have waived outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar rather than wait for their second-leading tackler from last season to serve a four-game suspension to open the season.

The Rams have four rookies on their two-deep roster at linebacker heading into the opener Sunday at home against Arizona. It has first-rounder Alec Ogletree starting and undrafted Darren Bates, Jonathan Stewart and Ray Ray Armstrong listed as backups.

Veteran Will Witherspoon starts at Dunbar's spot with James Laurinaitis, the team's leading tackler all four of his seasons, in the middle.

The Rams on Tuesday also signed backup defensive end Eugene Sims to a two-year contract extension. Sims has played 38 games in three seasons with St. Louis, with two starts. He had three sacks and an interception last season.

Sims had been scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org