DETROIT — Detroit Lions safety Jayron Kearse has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse.
Kearse was arrested last October as a member of the Minnesota Vikings and charged with driving while impaired and possession of a firearm.
He signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Lions this offseason, and Lions coach Matt Patricia said Friday the organization knew Kearse might be subject to league discipline.
“We were aware of the situation in free agency,” Patricia said. “Obviously, vetted the situation. We talked with Jayron and felt comfortable with him and the situation. Obviously, have gotten to know him a lot more since free agency and just felt comfortable with all of it. So we knew it was something that was coming and really right now, just like always, it’s a league matter and I’ll just leave it at that.”
The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement eliminated most suspensions for illicit drugs but mandated a three-game suspension for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Kearse is expected to play a key role on special teams and as a backup in the secondary for the Lions this fall.
The 26-year-old is allowed to participate in all practices this preseason. He can return to the Lions’ active roster on Monday, Sept. 28, following the team’s Week 3 game at Arizona.
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