The Green Bay Packers will be without one of their tight ends for the first two weeks of the 2021 NFL season. On Thursday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Jace Sternberger would be suspended without pay for the first two games of the regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse. He will be eligible to return to the active roster following Green Bay's Week 2 matchup vs. the Detroit Lions.
Sternberger released a statement via Twitter concerning this development:
"In February, 2020 I made a horrible decision. While on Anti-Depressants, I decided to drink which led me to falling asleep behind the wheel. My coaches and teammates were the first people to know. I want to apologize to the GB Packers organization and everyone else who has supported me along this journey. It is never okay to drink and get behind the wheel. Over the past 16 months, I've been going to therapy and continuously working to be a better person. I will never ignore my mistakes, I have owned up to my poor decision and accept the consequences."
Sternberger was originally drafted by the Packers in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. The Kansas transfer bolstered his draft stock in a big way in his lone season in College Station, as he put up 832 yards and 10 touchdowns with Kellen Mond quarterbacking. Sternberger played in just six games with one start during his rookie season due to injury, and played in 12 games last year. In those 12 contests, he caught 12 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown.
The Packers have Robert Tonyan as their solidified No. 1 tight end, as he exploded for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020. Green Bay also has the veteran Marcedes Lewis as its No. 2. With Sternberger out for the Packers' first two matchups against the New Orleans Saints and Lions, head coach Matt LaFleur will keep an extra eye on the other tight ends in mandatory minicamp. That group includes Dominique Dafney, Josiah Deguara and Bronson Kaufusi.