Training camp just opened up, and the Lions have already had seven players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and another suspended.
It was announced Friday that offseason acquisition and safety Jayron Kearse, who played for the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings from 2016-19, was suspended the first three games of the 2020 campaign for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
The suspension is for an incident involving Kearse from last October in which he was arrested and charged with five misdemeanors, including suspicion of driving while intoxicated and possession of a firearm without a permit.
The 26-year-old pleaded guilty in February to possessing a gun in public without a permit and to fourth-degree driving while under the influence. He subsequently was sentenced to probation and required to take part in community service.
Despite the suspension, he will still be allowed to suit up for all of Detroit's training camp practices.
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The fifth-year pro will be eligible to return to the team's 53-man roster on Sept. 28 -- the Monday after Detroit's Week 3 contest in Arizona.
Lions head coach Matt Patricia admitted during a video conference Friday that he was aware of the possibility of Kearse being suspended.
"We talked with Jayron, and felt comfortable with him and the situation," Patricia said. "Obviously, [we] have gotten to know him a lot more since free agency, and just felt comfortable with all of it. We knew it was something that was coming. It's a league matter, and I'll leave it at that."
Kearse inked a one-year, $2 million contract with Detroit in March, and is coming off a season in which he played in 15 games and recorded 28 total tackles, six passes defensed and an interception.