Nigel Bradham, the Eagles’ solid and consistent veteran linebacker, has been suspended by the NFL for one game and will miss the opener against the Falcons.
“Nigel Bradham of the Philadelphia Eagles has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy," an NFL spokesperson said in a statement. "Bradham will be eligible to return to the Eagles’ active roster on Friday, September 7 following the team’s September 6 game against the Atlanta Falcons. Bradham is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.”
Bradham apologized in a tweet and said he was suspended for the incident in July 2016 in which he was charged in an altercation with a hotel employee in the South Beach section of Miami. Those charges were eventually dropped.
I would like to apologize to my fans, coaches, teammates and the entire eagles organization for the 1 game suspension.This stems from a July 2016 incident and the matter is now resolved.I look forward to giving it my all this season and helping the team win another Championship— Nigel Bradham (@NigelBradham_13) June 29, 2018
“We have been in contact with Nigel and the NFL regarding his suspension," the Eagles said in a statement. "We respect the league’s decision on this matter and we are disappointed that Nigel put himself in this position. Nigel has taken responsibility and expressed to us through his words and actions that he has learned from his mistake. We will continue to be supportive of him throughout this process.”
The Eagles open the 2018 regular season at the Linc on Sept. 6 against the Falcons.
The Eagles are already thin at linebacker following the release of Mychal Kendricks and a season-ending injury in OTAs to Paul Worrilow.
These moves leave the Eagles with few options alongside Jordan Hicks, who is coming off a season-ending injury of his own.
Nate Gerry, Joe Walker, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Corey Nelson are among those expected to battle for roster spots at linebacker during training camp.
Bradham was charged in two incidents in Miami in 2016, one the altercation with a hotel employee in South Beach that July and the other when he tried to bring a gun through security at Miami International Airport.
This is the second time the Eagles will be without a starting linebacker in a season opener against the Falcons immediately following the Super Bowl.
In 2005, Jeremiah Trotter was ejected from the season opener against the Falcons following a pregame fight at midfield of the Georgia Dome that also involved Falcons linebacker Ike Reese.
Mike Labinjo wound up starting that game for the Eagles, a 14-10 loss.