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NFL gives Jets’ Herndon four-game suspension, bans two others

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New York (AFP) – The National Football League suspended New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon for the first four games of the upcoming season on Friday and also banned two other players after run-ins with law-enforcement officers.

Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Richie Incognito and former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Malik McDowell were suspended two games each for personal-conduct policy violations.

Herndon’s ban was for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse program after the 23-year-old pleaded guilty in January to a drink driving charge stemming from a June 2018 accident.

Herndon received a four-game ban instead of the usual two because a woman at the scene suffered bodily harm due to the crash, according to a report on the NFL website.

He will miss regular-season home contests against Buffalo and Cleveland and road games at New England and Philadelphia, and will be able to return for the Jets’ October 13 home matchup against Dallas.

Herndon made 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns last year in his rookie NFL campaign and was expected to start for the Jets this season.

Incognito’s ban came after an April incident at an Arizona funeral home following his father’s death in which he was arrested and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

He will miss home games against Denver and Kansas City and be able to return ahead of Oakland’s September 22 game at Minnesota.

Incognito, 36, last played in the NFL in 2017 for Buffalo. He retired, then attempted a comeback only to be cut by the Bills.

Incognito also sat out the entire 2014 season after being suspended late in the 2013 campaign by the Miami Dolphins for detrimental conduct as a leader in the harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin.

“I feel comfortable he’s going to compete on the field,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said. “We’re going to provide the infrastructure for him so at the end of the day it’s a two-way street. We got to help him help himself.”

McDowell, a 2017 second-round draft selection, has never played an NFL game after suffering a head injury in a 2017 all-terrain vehicle accident before being waived by Seattle in 2018.

McDowell was reportedly arrested twice in auto-related incidents in Michigan earlier this year.

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