The Baltimore Ravens will start the 2017 season without one of their lead running backs.

The team announced Thursday that second-year back Kenneth Dixon has been suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season due to violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.

In reaction to the news, Dixon released a statement via

“I want to apologize to the Ravens organization, my coaches, teammates and fans,” Dixon said. “Being an NFL player is a privilege that comes with many responsibilities, including knowing the contents of any and all foods and supplements put in your body.

“I mistakenly took a substance without the proper NFL medical exemption, and while it was unintentional, I accept full responsibility for my actions and their consequences. I am truly sorry for the mistake I made and the distraction it causes. Moving forward, I remain committed to focusing on my offseason training, conditioning and game preparation so I can be an immediate impact player for the Ravens when my suspension is over.”

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome also provided a comment on Dixon’s suspension.

“While we are disappointed in the mistake Kenneth made, we appreciate the fact that he has assumed responsibility for his actions,” Newsome said, per the team’s website. “Kenneth is a good person, but he must learn from this and take the proper steps to rebuild trust within the organization, especially with his coaches and teammates.”

Baltimore selected Dixon in the fourth round of last year’s draft. After missing the first four games with a knee injury, he put together a respectable rookie campaign as part of a Ravens backfield duo with Terrance West.

Dixon ran for 382 yards with two rushing touchdowns on 88 carries in 12 games. He also caught 30 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown.

The Ravens’ ground game will be well-equipped even in Dixon’s absence, though, as the team reportedly acquired Danny Woodhead in free agency.

Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images