Posted by Will Brinson
It's not a real workday without some shocking NFL-related news, so here you go: Brandon Spikes, the rookie linebacker for the New England Patriots, has been suspended four games by the NFL for a violation of the league's banned substance policy.
"I’ve been contacted by the NFL and informed that I will be suspended four games for the detection of an illegal substance in a drug test," Spikes said in a statement released through the Patriots. "The substance was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking. It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug. The integrity of the game is very important to me. I understand the league’s ruling and apologize to my teammates, the fans and the Patriots organization for this mistake."
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald first reported the news Friday afternoon and stated that Spikes would not appeal the suspension. Rapoport's initial report also noted that the suspension is not related to steroids, which Spikes' statement seems to confirm.
Because he's not appealing, Spikes will be eligible to return on January 3, the day after the team's regular season finale.
Spikes has totaled 61 tackles, zero sacks and one interception (although it was a crucial one against the Jets Monday) through 2010, and, considering that his most notable "achievement" this year was a "movie release" from his days in Florida, you could argue that he's a bust so far this year, even though as the 62nd overall pick he is starting on a defense that appears to be gelling, despite it's next-to-last ranking in total yardage.
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