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Frank Alexander suspended four games for substance abuse violation

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers

Grant Halverson

The Panthers will be down a member of their defensive line rotation when next season gets underway.

The team announced Friday that defensive end Frank Alexander has been suspended for four games as a result of a violation of the league’s policy and program for substances of abuse. Alexander will be eligible to return after the Panthers play the Ravens in Week Four and will be allowed to practice with the team throughout the offseason and preseason.

Alexander has played in 28 games over the last two years, spending most of that time in a reserve role behind Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson. He has 33 tackles and 3.5 sacks since the team selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft.

Mario Addison is now set to be the team’s top backup at end and Alexander’s absence in the opening month will offer another member of the roster a chance at playing time as well.