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New England Patriots Brandon Bolden suspended


New England Patriots rookie running back Brandon Bolden has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He has not practiced all week after injuring his knee against the Seattle Seahawks about four weeks ago, and it was in fact a re-aggravation of that knee injury.

Bolden was not even expected to play this week against the Buffalo Bills, as he has not practiced for an extended period of time. The Patriots were under no pressure to push him back given the surplus at the running back position. The UDFA and former Ole Miss standout looked good in the preseason, but it wasn’t until his huge 100-yard rushing outburst against the Bills in their first meeting earlier this year when Bolden put himself on the map as a solid backup back in this league.


It’s not a huge loss for the Patriots for those four games, and the team seems quite willing to use Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead instead of Bolden in several situations. It will be interesting to see if Bill Belichick and the organization displays patience with the newly suspended player, or if they cut off the promising rookie due to the talent they have at the position. I highly doubt we see Bolden get cut, even if he did take PEDs instead of some more minor drug that wasn’t cleared first.

Aqib Talib is currently serving the final game of his four-game suspension (for using Adderall while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) but will be back in Week 11.

This is some shocking news, but it is likely just some prescription drug that was not talked to with the league initially- or something of that nature. It’s all quite sudden, but there is usually a logical explanation for these happenings. I hope that’s the case with Bolden, and it will be interesting to see when the suspension kicks in. The news of the PEDs could also be linked to him trying to heal from this knee injury, but this is all speculation at this point.

Bolden will reportedly be able to play against the Houston Texans, but the alleged substance he used and the date of the test were not disclosed. Let’s keep calm, because it isn’t like this hasn’t happened before for the New England Patriots. As Greg Bedard noted, the same thing happened to Brandon Spikes in 2010.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.