Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland has been suspended without pay for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, the league announced on Wednesday.
Copeland, who re-signed with the Jets this offseason after a strong 2018 performance, will be eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 7, which is one day after the team's Week 5 contest against the Eagles. Copeland is allowed to practice and play in the final two preseason games.
Copeland's suspension hurts a position that was already without projected starter Avery Williamson, who tore his ACL in the Jets' second preseason game.
The 28-year-old posted a statement on Instagram in light of the news.
"I’ve spent the better part of 28 years building and working on my legacy. This offseason, I began taking a supplement AFTER multiple verifications that it was safe for me to use. Unfortunately, this supplement was contaminated with a banned substance - NOT on its label," Copeland wrote. "I trust that the ppl who know my heart understand that I would never intentionally take a banned substance."
Copeland finished the 2018 season with 24 solo tackles and a career-high five sacks before signing a one-year, $1.75 million deal in March.
He joins tight end Chris Herndon on the suspended list to start the season for the Jets.