Ravens second-year tight end Nick Boyle has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, the NFL announced Friday. It’s another red flag for Boyle, who was also suspended the final four games of last season for violating the league’s policy. Boyle will be allowed to participate in offseason activities, as well as preseason practices and games, before his suspension begins.
Boyle was a fifth-round pick from Delaware last season, and played well as a rookie until his suspension. Drafted primarily as a blocking tight end, Boyle was solid in that area, but also showed pass-catching skills with 18 catches for 153 yards. The Ravens still have two young tight ends on the roster – Crockett Gillmore, entering his third season, and Maxx Williams, who was drafted in the second round last year. However, losing Boyle hurts the Ravens depth at the position, especially if veteran Dennis Pitta is unable to resume his career after his second major hip surgery.
Losing Boyle may not change the Ravens’ draft strategy, but it raises questions about Boyle’s future with the team moving forward.
After Boyle’s suspension last year, Ravens coach John Harbuagh said, “He was telling me how stupid it was, and I agreed. It was pretty dumb. Hopefully he’ll grow and learn from that.
“The shame of it is here’s a guy that’s playing so well. He’s one of the gems of the draft class in terms of a fifth-round pick playing the way he does. He plays hard. He has been good in the pass game, good in the run game.”
However, Boyle has not been good at avoiding getting suspended. And to have an NFL future, that is something he will have to overcome.
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