Miami Dolphins running back Mark Walton has been suspended for the next four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the league announced on Tuesday. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports that this issue stems from incidents that predate his time in Miami.
Walton was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Miami, but his tenure with the club was short-lived after being arrested three times during the 2019 offseason. His first arrest back in January centered around marijuana possession. Then, he was charged with a battery misdemeanor for an altercation that occurred in February. In March, Walton is said to have fled on foot from a rental car after being pulled over by police. A rifle was found in the car by authorities. He later pled no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge and was sentenced to six months probation.
All of these incidents led the Bengals to waive the 5-foot-9, 195 pounder in early April.
Since those run-ins with the law, Walton has signed on with the Dolphins and has evolved into the starter in Miami with the team trading away Kenyan Drake prior to the NFL trade deadline. In seven games played this season (four starts), Walton has rushed for 201 yards on 3.8 yards per-carry. He's also caught 15 of his 21 targets for 89 yards.
"We have been in communication with the NFL regarding Mark's suspension," head coach Brian Flores said in a statement released by the team. "The conduct of our players is very important and Mark has done everything we have asked of him both on and off the field since signing with the Dolphins. We look forward to having him back at the conclusion of his suspension."