Datone Jones suspended for one game
While the Green Bay Packers await word on Letroy Guion's fate, they'll now be without another defensive lineman to start the 2015 regular season.
The NFL announced on Thursday afternoon that Datone Jones has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. He'll still be able to participate in all the offseason and preseason practices and games.
The impetus for Jones' one-game ban wasn't immediately known. Either a failed drug test or a missed test could trigger a suspension. What is certain is that the appeals process is over since the NFL only announces suspensions after its completion.
Jones, a first-round pick in 2013, will be eligible to return to the active roster following the Packers' Sept. 13 game against the Chicago Bears. Since he is scheduled to make $1,106,509 in 2015, Jones' one-game suspension costs him roughly $65,000.
Jones, 24, has been utilized mostly as a rotational rusher in his first two NFL seasons despite his first-round draft status. He's recorded 31 tackles and five sacks in his first 29 regular-season games with three starts. During organized team activities last month, Jones talked about how the past two seasons have been a learning experience.
"I learned so many new things. I had to mature a lot," Jones said. "That was one thing. I had to really dial in and really mature a lot and really put my focus all into football. A lot. I had to really focus. That was the biggest thing with my growth to make that next jump.
"A lot of times it's not all about the numbers. This guy had 15 sacks. No it's not that. You have to dial in mentally and actually learn the game. That's where you get that veteran game where it's like, 'Man this guy you think a guy is physical but he's not doing anything spectacular. He just knows.' "
Jones' suspension could leave the Packers down two defensive linemen going into the season. They're still waiting for any potential league fallout for Guion's February arrest in Starke, Fla., for felony possession of marijuana (357 grams or roughly three-fourths of a pound) and a firearm.
The Packers offered no comment on Jones' situation citing the confidentiality of the process.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WesHod