Miami Dolphins pass rusher Dion Jordan has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances.
The league announced the suspension on Wednesday, informing the team that the former Oregon standout, whom Miami selected third overall in the 2013 NFL draft, will miss the Patriots, Bills, Chiefs and Raiders game. Jordan will be eligible to come back to the team for the Oct. 12 game against Green Bay.
“I recently learned from the NFL I tested positive for stimulants that are banned under the NFL policy. I worked carefully with my advisers and the union to investigate the test results, and I take full responsibility for the test results,”
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Jordan said in a prepared statement released by the Dolphins. “I'm very sorry for the impact of this situation on my teammates, coaches, [owner] Steve Ross, and the entire Dolphins organization, fans and my family.”
Jordan can participate in training camp and the exhibition season, but he can't step foot in the facility during the regular season until the Dolphins’ bye week, which comes after the Sept. 28 game against the Raiders, which will be played in London.
“During the suspension I will stay in top shape and will be ready to contribute upon my return,” said Jordan, who put on 15 pounds of muscle this offseason.
Jordan contributed 26 tackles and two sacks last season as the Dolphins' third down pass rushing specialist. More was expected of him in 2014 because he'd spent all offseason rehabbing his surgically repaired left shoulder, and adding 15 pounds of muscle.
Jordan was expected remain Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon's backup, but he was the key to the Dolphins' speed package because of his versatility, which allowed him to play every spot on the defensive line, and drop back into coverage like a linebacker, which happens to be the position he played at Oregon.
With Jordan suspended for the first four games defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle will have to find another player to fill that role for Miami's best defensive package. Possible candidates are Vernon and linebackers Philip Wheeler and Jelani Jenkins.
Jordan's absence also increases the possibility that Jared Odrick might be called on to play defensive end again, returning to the position he played his first three seasons in the NFL, and that one of the team's young pass rushers might join Wake, Vernon and Derrick Shelby on the 53-man roster for at least the first month of the season.
That player might be former Marist standout Terrence Fede, whom the Dolphins selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. Miami also has former South Florida defensive Tevin Mims, an undrafted rookie, on the training camp roster.
“We were disappointed to learn about Dion's suspension,” coach Joe Philbin said. “Dion has accepted responsibility for his actions and is committed to improving, both on and off the field.”
Jordan becomes the first Dolphins player to be suspended for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substance policies since nose tackle Jason Ferguson was suspended for the first four games of the 2009 season.