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NFL suspends Lions RB Mikel Leshoure for violation of substance-abuse policy

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Miekl Leshoure (left) was suspended for the first two games of the 2012 season. (AP)

On Wednesday morning we noted that Lions president Tom Lewand thought suspensions for Detroit players who ran afoul of the law this offseason were "likely." At least one of them is now real: the league announced on Wednesday that running back Mikel Leshoure was suspended without pay for the first two games of the 2012 season.

Leshoure will also be fined two additional game checks for his violation of the league's substance-abuse policy. Leshoure was pled guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in May, his second such run-in with the law within the past few months.

"We support the Commissioner's decision regarding Mikel and appreciate the dialogue that we have had with the League office concerning the matter," Lewand said in a statement. "As we have previously stated, we expect every member of our organization to uphold a greater standard of behavior. If that standard is not upheld, those responsible will be held accountable.

"Our belief and expectation is that Mikel will continue to learn from this experience and use it as positive motivation moving forward."

The former second-round pick out of Illinois was expected to solidify the Lions rushing attack out of the gates last year, but Leshoure tore his Achilles in training camp last year and never played a down. The result was Matthew Stafford leading the league in passing attempts last season. Now Leshoure will have to wait at least two games into the 2012 to try and make a difference.

Leshoure's suspension doesn't bode well for fellow offender Nick Fairley, who was arrested multiple times in the past few months. And it might not bode well for the Lions, who could potentially face penalties if they have multiple players suspended for off-field behavior.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.
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