Robert Morris will be without senior quarterback Jeff Sinclair for the first two games of the season.
Sinclair is suspended for the season opener against North Dakota State this Saturday and the home opener against Albany on September 8 as the result of a January incident.
"There's really not much to comment on," head coach Joe Walton said. "He's suspended for two games because he broke some rules."
According to public Allegheny County court documents, Sinclair was charged with a summary offense of disorderly conduct on February 8 as the result of an incident on January 14. The charge was dismissed in July. The suspension went into effect this week, as Sinclair worked with the scout team in practice on Tuesday.
"He's known about it and he's handled it fine. It's got to be done to keep the discipline the way we want it," Walton said.
Sophomore Matt Layman will start at NDSU and against Albany, with true freshman Derik Abbott as his back-up. Robert Morris gave Abbott and fellow freshman Mikal Hall the bulk of the snaps late in training camp in an apparent attempt to get them up to speed in the offense quickly. Layman and Abbott took the most reps in Saturday's final scrimmage.
Layman played in five games last year as a true freshman, completing 21 of 38 passes for 265 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The bulk of his work came against Central Connecticut State and Wagner at the end of the season. Layman took over for Sinclair against CCSU after Sinclair went down with a knee injury that ended his season. Layman started against Wagner before suffering a season ending injury of his own midway through the game.
Layman's second and third career starts will come against NDSU, the defending Division I FCS national champions, and Albany, the defending Northeast Conference champions.
"Very difficult for him, but I'm sure he'll do well," Walton said. "He's had a good spring and fall."
Sinclair is expected to return to the starting role beginning in Week 3 against Dayton.
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