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Packers DL Mike Pennel suspended 4 games for violating substance-abuse policy

The third-year defensive lineman will miss the first four games of the Packers' 2016 schedule.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

At least for the first quarter of next season, the Green Bay Packers must make due without the services of Mike Pennel. The NFL has suspended the third-year defensive lineman four games without pay for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Pennel arrived in Green Bay as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State-Pueblo. He played previously at Arizona State before comments he made on Twitter persuaded the coaching staff to kick him off the team. Concerns related to his departure from Tempe likely prevented him from hearing his name called on draft day.

However, prior to the suspension, Pennel did not have any issues with the Packers. He played in 13 games as a rookie and every game this past season, including five starts. Pennel seemed likely to receive a boost in play next year, as the team has yet to open negotiations with B.J. Raji while Letroy Guion appears likely to move back to nose tackle.

Though Pennel cannot participate in the first four games of the season, he can still practice with the team during training camp and play during the preseason.

Jason B. Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as an NFL writer for SB Nation and Sports on Earth and is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.