Suspended Calvin Pace's season won't start until October 12 in Miami. (JetsInsider.com Photo)
The NFL announced on Thursday that they have suspended Jets LB Calvin Pace for four games starting the 2009 season for violating the league's performance enhancing substance policy.
The official NFL statement is as follows:
"Calvin Pace of the New York Jets has been suspended without pay for the team’s first four regular-season games of 2009 for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
Pace's suspension begins on Saturday, September 5. He is eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Monday, October 5 following the team’s October 4 game against the New Orleans Saints.
Pace is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games."
Although the actual substance was not named, Pace in a statement released by the team said it was a dietary supplement that he mistakenly took.
"This is a situation that resulted from an over-the-counter dietary supplement that contained a substance that I did not know violated the League’s policy," said Pace. I am responsible for what I put into my body and I should have paid closer attention to the League’s guidelines. I regret that this has happened and apologize to my teammates, the entire Jets organization as well as the fans. Hopefully, this does not distract from our ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl."
The team followed with a statement saying they "respect the League’s decision and look forward to Calvin’s return for our Monday Night game at Miami".
The loss is a big blow to the Rex Ryan's re-vamped defense and sets the stage for second year LB Vernon Gholston to step up and fill in for Pace during his absence. Whether Gholston is ready for the task is to be seen.