The New England Patriots will not be the only AFC East team missing a Pro Bowl player when the season starts in September. Joining him in the four-game suspension group will be New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson. Unlike Brady, who will be suspended for his role in the "Deflategate" scandal, Richardson's suspension is for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
"I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans," Richardson said in a statement released by the team following the announcement. "However, words aren't enough. This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don't want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won't be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I'm able to return to the field."
Richardson will be allowed to participate in training camp and the team's four preseaons games, but will then miss the first four weeks of the regular season.
"This is disappointing for Sheldon and the team," Jets head coach Todd Bowles explained in a statement. "We’re going to support Sheldon and welcome him back upon his return. We will keep moving forward with our preparations for the coming season."
The Miami Dolphins play the Jets in the first of the division rivals' annual home-and-home series in Week 4 in London as part of the league's International Series. Richardson will be eligible to return to the Jets following that game.
UPDATE: According to Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News, Richardson was "busted for marijuana use."