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NFL Notebook: Richardson, Gates, McClain Suspended Four Games

In this Nov. 24, 2014, file photo, New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson watches during warmups before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Detroit. Richardson felt helpless as he watched the scenes near his hometown unfold on TV and social media. He was born and raised in St. Louis, just a few minutes away from the suburb of Ferguson, Mo., where police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted by a grand jury last week in the shooting death of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
In this Nov. 24, 2014, file photo, New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson watches during warmups before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

 

(UPI) – New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson, San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain were suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for a violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse program.

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Datone Jones was suspended for one game for violating the policy.

“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans. However, words aren’t enough,” Richardson said. “This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don’t want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won’t be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I’m able to return to the field.”

Gates acknowledged that he took supplements during the offseason but said he did not knowingly use a banned substance. The 12-year veteran won’t be eligible to return to the active roster until Oct. 5, the day after a game against the Cleveland Browns.

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