May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin was suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the National Football League’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Irvin, 26, will be eligible to return to the team on Sept. 30, following the team’s road game against the Houston Texans the previous day, according to a Seahawks news release. He is allowed to participate in all offseason activities and preseason games before the start of the regular season.
Irvin, in a separate news release, apologized to teammates, coaches and fans for taking an unidentified prohibited substance “without a medical exemption.”
“I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions,” he said. “I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return.”
Seattle’s first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Irvin had eight sacks in his rookie season, second-most on the team. The Seahawks defense allowed 306.2 yards per game last season, second-fewest in the National Football Conference behind the division-rival San Francisco 49ers.
Irvin was scheduled to make $814,645 this season, according to the NFL Players Association. In addition to the game against the Texans, he will miss games against the Carolina Panthers, 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Seahawks also probably will open the season without defensive end Chris Clemons, who had a team-high 11 1/2 sacks last season before tearing a ligament in his left knee during the playoffs.
-- Editors: Michael Sillup, Jay Beberman
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