GREEN BAY — Green Bay Packers
defensive tackle Mike Pennel has been suspended by the NFL for the
first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league's
substance abuse policy.
Pennel, an undrafted free agent out of
Colorado State-Pueblo in 2014, played in all 16 games with five starts
in 2015. He finished with 35 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.
The suspension was announced Friday.
This will be the second consecutive
season a Packers defensive lineman has started on the NFL's suspended
list. Last year, Letroy Guion missed the first three games due to an
offseason arrest in Florida, and Datone Jones was suspended for the
first game for violating the substance-abuse policy.
Pennel took Guion's place in the
starting lineup to open the season, then moved ahead of Guion in the
rotation down the stretch, with two starts in the final four
The Packers recently re-signed Guion to
a three-year contract, keeping the free agent from reaching the
market. But starting nose tackle B.J. Raji is scheduled to be a free
agent. Given the possibility of Raji departing, the Packers could be
short on numbers at a position group in which only starter Mike
Daniels, backups Jones and Josh Boyd - who spent almost all of last
season on injured reserve — and three returning practice-squad
players are under contract.
Pennel, who will be entering his final
season under contract, is eligible to participate in offseason
workouts, training camp and the preseason games.
The Packers did not comment.