The NFL has announced that Buffalo Bills tight end Shawn Nelson has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 regular season, without pay, for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Nelson is still eligible to participate in Buffalo's two remaining pre-season games. Once the regular season begins, he will not be eligible to return to the team until Monday, October 4, following Buffalo's Week 4 game against the New York Jets.
As ESPN's Tim Graham points out, the four-game suspension indicates that Nelson is a repeat offender of the policy, as all first-time offenders are placed into a confidential intervention program.
Currently second on Buffalo's depth chart at tight end behind Jonathan Stupar, Nelson has not yet recorded a reception in two pre-season games this year. With Derek Schouman suffering a knee injury in Thursday night's win over Indianapolis, the Bills could be in the market for a TE to start the season.