Sheldon Richardson became the latest AFC East star to be hit with a suspension Thursday.
The New York Jets defensive lineman was suspended four games for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse program, the NFL announced. Richardson was suspended for marijuana use, a source told the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta, and as ProFootballTalk.com pointed out, it’s unlikely this is Richardson’s first violation.
“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans,” Richardson said in a statement released by the Jets. “However, words aren’t enough. This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don’t want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won’t be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I’m able to return to the field.”
New Jets coach Todd Bowles also released a statement.
“This is disappointing for Sheldon and the team,” Bowles said. “We’re going to support Sheldon and welcome him back upon his return. We will keep moving forward with our preparations for the upcoming season.”
Richardson figures to be an integral part of the Jets’ rebuilding moving forward. The 24-year-old had a big season in 2014, recording eight sacks and earning a Pro Bowl selection.
Luckily for the Jets, they’ll be without Richardson for just one divisional game, as he’ll be able to return Oct. 5 following New York’s Week 4 game with the Miami Dolphins.
Thumbnail photo via Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Images