49ers wide receiver Victor Bolden has been suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. For his part, Bolden denies knowingly taking anything banned by the league.
“Unknowingly, I used a supplement that was on the NFL’s banned substance list. As a professional athlete, I take full responsibility for not verifying the ingredients of the supplement,” Bolden said in a statement issued by the team. “In the future, I will be much better educated when choosing what to put in my body. It hurts to know that I will not be on the field with my team for the first four games of the season.”
The suspension means that Bolden will be out of action until Week 5 when the Niners take on the Cardinals. Before that, he’ll miss contests against the Vikings, Lions, Chiefs, and Chargers.
Bolden, 23, hooked on with the Niners last year as an unrestricted free agent. He wound up returning 19 kicks for 396 yards (20.8 yards per attempt) and four punts for 23 yards.
Bolden’s suspension could give Kendrick Bourne, Max McCaffrey, Richie James, Aaron Burbridge, and other roster hopefuls at the wide receiver position an opportunity to make the initial cut. The Niners project to have Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, second-round pick Dante Pettis, and Aldrick Robinson as their top five WRs.
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