The New England Patriots already have a fairly thin tight end group. And to start the season, they now have two players suspended.
The NFL has suspended Patriots tight end Lance Kendricks one game for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse. This suspension stems from Kendricks pleading no contest to a 2017 marijuana charge and receiving probation this past July, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Kendricks will join Ben Watson, who is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league's PED policy, on the suspended list, provided that he survives final roster cuts.
Kendricks inked a one-year deal with the Patriots just after training camp opened in late July. Kendricks had spent the previous two seasons with the Green Bay Packers and totaled 19 catches, 170 yards, and a touchdown in 16 games for them last season.
The Patriots had largely added Kendricks, an eight-year NFL veteran and solid blocker, to provide experienced depth in their unproven unit. With Kendricks out for the first game, that should give guys like Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo a chance to get the primary snaps at the position.
And as for Kendricks, this suspension makes his chances of making the final 53-man roster murkier. Before this suspension, Kendricks was already on the outside looking in for a roster spot. Our own Phil Perry has the Patriots keeping three tight ends in his latest roster projection, and Kendricks wasn't among them.
The suspension certainly won't help Kendricks' cause, but we'll soon see what direction the team will elect to go in at the tight end position.
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