Lions defensive tackle Khyri Thornton has been handed a six game suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s policy and program for substance abuse. The news was announced by Detroit on Tuesday afternoon.
Thornton, 28 in November, entered the NFL as a third-round pick of the Packers in 2014. It wasn’t until the next year when he finally saw live NFL action with the Lions. Last year, Thornton made 13 appearances for Detroit, including six starts. Thornton registered his first career sack and racked up 19 tackles, leading the Lions to re-sign him to a two-year, $3.3MM deal.
After appearing in 29.9 percent of the Lions’ defensive snaps last year, Thornton was being counted upon as depth for Detroit on the D-Line. The Lions still have Akeem Spence as a backup DT and they’ll also use free agent pickup Jordan Hill a bit more than initially planned. Haloti Ngata, who plans to return for his age-33 campaign, and A’Shawn Robinson figure to start.
Pro Football Focus wasn’t impressed with Thornton in 2016, ranking him 121st among 126 qualified interior D-linemen last year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.