GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11: Erik Walden #93 of the Green Bay Packers recovers a loose ball against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on December 11, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Raiders 46-16. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden has been suspended one game for the violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, and will miss the Week 1 matchup against the San Fransisco 49ers if he makes the team's final roster. The suspension stems from Walden's arrest back in November, following a dispute with his girlfriend. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct-domestic abuse charge.
Walden struggled last season, especially after his arrest. He was re-signed on a one-year deal worth $725,000 with no signing bonus, meaning he's very much expendable for the Packers. He looks like he has a shot at making the roster once again, however. He did a bit of work with the No. 1 defense and appears to be one of two primary backups at outside linebacker at the moment, along with Dezman Moses. He'll be competing with Brad Jones and Frank Zombo, probably for one roster spot.
I doubt this suspension will alter Walden's chances of making the team. He was never going to be a starter again as long as Nick Perry was healthy, but there's no reason to believe that he won't be a reliable backup. If he is better than Jones and Zombo, he'll make the team.