The Green Bay Packers are down another player for the start of the 2016 season.
The NFL announced Friday that third-year Packers cornerback Demetri Goodson has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
He’s eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. The Packers’ offseason program begins April 18. The announcement of the suspension indicates the appeals process has been completed or wasn’t exercised.
Goodson, a former point guard at Gonzaga, came to the Packers as a raw, developmental cornerback when they drafted him in the sixth round in 2014. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound cornerback has 16 tackles and one pass deflection in 20 regular-season games.
While Goodson remains a work in progress on defense, the 26-year-old has developed into a core special-teams player. He finished tied for fourth in special-teams tackles during the regular season, according to the coaches’ statistics.
Goodson is the second Packers player to be suspended this offseason. Defensive lineman Mike Pennel was suspended in February for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
If Goodson makes the team, the four-game suspension will cost him $141,176.47 of his $600,000 salary. His absence likely will give second-year cornerbacks LaDarius Gunter and Robertson Daniel a chance to compete for a role behind Shields, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and Micah Hyde.
Gunter (6-foot-2, 201) was one of two undrafted rookies to make the Packers’ 53-man roster last summer, but depth at the position resulted in him being active in only nine of 18 games (including playoffs). He made his biggest play in the playoffs against Washington, deflecting a pass intended for Pierre Garcon.
Daniel (6-foot-1, 210) spent the entire season on the Packers’ practice squad before being promoted for their divisional-round playoff game in Arizona.
The Packers lost two defensive linemen, Letroy Guion (three games) and Datone Jones (one game), at the start of last season for marijuana-related suspensions.