Ravens OL James Hurst Suspended Four Games for Violating NFL Drug Policy
Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2020 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Hurst is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to his team’s active roster on the Monday following the team’s fourth game.
There is some speculation that Hurst could become a salary-cap casualty this offseason because the team could save $2.75 million by releasing him. However, his versatility makes him a valuable part of the roster.
Hurst, who signed with the Ravens as a rookie free agent in May 2014, has started 19 games at left guard, 16 at left tackle, seven at right tackle and two as a tight end in “jumbo formations" over his career. He re-signed with the Ravens as a restricted free agent on April 19, 2017.
Last season, Hurst was lauded after being forced into action against the New York Jets when Pro-Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley was sidelined with a concussion.
It was a challenging proposition for Hurst, who had to fill the void for one of the league's top offensive linemen.
Hurst did well protecting quarterback Lamar Jackson's blindside in the Ravens 42-21 victory. Ravens coach John Harbaugh was pleased with Hurst's performance,
“I felt like he played well. I’m looking forward to seeing the tape on James [Hurst], but [I] felt like he played well," Harbaugh said after that game. "I didn’t see any problems, which is good for an offensive lineman."
This past season, Hurst also helped helped the Ravens set new single-season franchise records for total touchdowns (64), points (531), rushing yards (3,296) and total net yards (6,521) and helped the Ravens produce the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense (33.2 points per game). The Ravens also became the first team in league history to average at least 200 rushing (206.0) and 200 net passing yards (201.6) yards per game in a season.