Ravens reserve safety Christian Thompson is hoping to maximize his time with the team this month until his four-game suspension kicks in when the regular season starts for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy
"It's very important, every day counts," Thompson told The Baltimore Sun in his first interview since the punishment was handed down this offseason. "I can't take any day for granted. I got to make the most of my opportunities."
Thompson declined to elaborate on the specifics of his violation, which will cost him $112,941 of his $480,000 base salaries through the loss of four $28,235 game checks.
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"Yeah, I just got to grow up," said Thompson, a 2012 fourth-round draft pick from South Carolina State who's eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games prior to the suspension. "Everybody has been supporting me. Nobody has been down on me."
Thompson played in seven games last season on special teams and recorded no statistics as a rookie.
Listed at 6-foot, 211 pounds, Thompson said he's working to lower his weight from 220 pounds to the 210-pound range.
"I have improved a lot, but I picked up some unwanted weight," said Thompson, who began his collegiate career at Auburn before transferring to South Carolina State. "So, I'm worried about that right now. I'll be all right."