Vikings’ defensive end Spencer Nealy has been suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, reports Tom Pelissero of USA Today (via Twitter).
Nealy, a defensive end out of Texas A&M, spent last season on the Vikings’ practice squad after going undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft. He had a chance to improve his standing and possibly make the 53-man roster in 2014. Two things in his favor this season were the departure of stalwart defensive end Jared Allen and new head coach Mike Zimmer’s tendency of using a rotation on the defensive line that promotes more snaps for backups.
Dolphins’ second-year defensive end Dion Jordan and Chiefs offensive lineman Rokevious Watkins have already received similar suspensions, and LaVon Brazill was cut by the Colts shortly after his year-long suspension was announced.
Nealy will only miss four games, much less than that of Brazill, so just because Brazill was released does not ensure that Nealy will also be cast out from his franchise. However, his pedigree is not close to that of Jordan or even on the level of Watkins. He is much less valuable as an asset going forward, and the team may be unwilling to grant him a second chance.
Nealy released a statement in which he apologized. “I accept full responsibility,” said Nealy, reports Pelissero (via Twitter).