The Chiefs’ offensive line took another hit today, as the team confirmed that offensive lineman Donald Stephenson has been suspended for four games. According to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter), the penalty is for a violation of the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
Stephenson, who started 14 of the 32 games he played for the Chiefs in his first two seasons with the team, was penciled in as the team’s starting right tackle heading into the 2014 campaign. Having lost regulars like Branden Albert, Geoff Schwartz, and Jon Asamoah in free agency, Kansas City has some question marks on its line this year, and now will have to incorporate yet another new starter, with Stephenson out of the mix for the first month. Former Texan Ryan Harris, who signed a month ago, looks like he’ll be next in line at right tackle, though the Chiefs’ remaining preseason action should help determine that definitively.
Addressing Stephenson’s suspension, the team released a succinct statement this afternoon: “This morning the NFL notified the team of Donald Stephenson’s four-game suspension. Obviously losing Donald is disappointing, but we are in full compliance with the league’s policy. We will have no further comment on the situation.”