Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The NFL later confirmed the report.
Edelman — who is facing a four-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug — had appealed the punishment. ESPN reported his appeal was heard June 25 and then denied Tuesday.
Following the initial report of his suspension, Edelman issued an apology on Instagram, in which he said, “I don’t know what happened.” The 32-year-old had missed the entirety of last season due to a torn ACL he suffered during a preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
Edelman was a full participant in OTAs and minicamp and will still be allowed to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will not be permitted, however, to attend regular-season practices or contact any Patriots personnel during his suspension. Edelman “will be eligible to return to the Patriots’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 1,” per the league.
Without Edelman, the Patriots’ wide-receiver depth chart currently consists of the following players: Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Cordarrelle Patterson, Malcolm Mitchell, Riley McCarron, Cody Hollister, Braxton Berrios, and Matthew Slater.
New England’s first four opponents of the 2018 season are the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, and Miami Dolphins.
Edelman will also forfeit $470,588.20 in base salary.