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Packers release Mike Pennel following suspension

The Packers decided not to retain their twice-suspended defensive tackle.

Green Bay Packers v Oakland Raiders

While the Green Bay Packers will spend the week preparing for their upcoming rematch with the Dallas Cowboys, one of their linemen has begun the search for new employment. On Monday, the team announced the release of defensive tackle Mike Pennel.

Pennel had just completed a four-game ban for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The mammoth defensive lineman also sat out the first quarter of the season while serving a suspension for an infraction of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. In total, he played eight games for the Packers this season, totaling seven tackles and a pass breakup.

Though Pennel could have returned this weekend to face the Cowboys, the Packers would have needed to clear a roster spot in order to retain him. With a secondary already in need of reinforcements and a receiving corps likely without the services of Jordy Nelson, carving out room for the wide-bodied Pennel appears a nonstarter. Furthermore, after two suspensions in one season, the team might have just preferred to part ways regardless.

In three seasons, Pennel started five games and appeared in 37 total. He finishes his Green Bay tenure with 40 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble.

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