For the second straight week, a Bears player has been suspended by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Alshon Jeffery was slapped with the punishment last week and now linebacker Jerrell Freeman will miss the next four games.
Freeman will be sidelined until Week 16, missing the Bears' games against the Tennessee Titans (Nov. 27), San Francisco 49ers (Dec. 4), Detroit Lions (Dec. 11) and Green Bay Packers (Dec. 18).
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Bears head coach John Fox reacted to the news during his press conference Monday:
#Bears John Fox re Jerrell Freeman suspension - 'very disappointed," think these guys understand the parameters of the rules— John Mullin (@moonmullinNBCS) November 21, 2016
#Bears John Fox - doesn't think PED problem 'unique the Bears' - 'we take it very seriously' - unfortunately they don't live here (halas)— John Mullin (@moonmullinNBCS) November 21, 2016
Freeman released a statement on Twitter, apologizing for any embarassment this incident has caused the organization, his coaches, teammates and fans:
Freeman — in his first season with the Bears after signing as a free agent — has formed a dynamic tandem with Danny Trevethan at inside linebacker. The 30-year-old has recorded 91 tackles (69 solo) along with six tackles for a loss and three passes deflected.
This is just another blow to a Bears team that lost Zach Miller for the season with a foot injury and rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd may have the same fate after suffering a neck injury Sunday.
The Bears will be without Jeffery for another three games while Pro Bowl guards Kyle Long (out for the season) and Josh Sitton are also sidelined.