New England Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham has been suspended for four games by the NFL for a violation of the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy, the league announced today. Cunningham will be eligible to return on December 24th, and will not be allowed to visit the Patriots team facilities until that time.
The league did not announce the nature of Cunningham's violation or what drugs were involved.
Cunningham is the second Patriots player this season to be suspended for a violation of the league's PED policy. The other, running back Brandon Bolden, was also suspended four games earlier this year -- a suspension he will continue to serve until December 3rd. Current Patriots cornerback Aquib Talib was suspended by the NFL earlier this year for taking Adderall while a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Cunningham has played in all 11 of the Patriots' games this season, contributing to 23 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He had six total tackles in the Patriots' Thanksgiving Day demolition of the New York Jets.