Jermaine Cunningham suspended four games for PEDs


Yet another NFL player has been caught using performance-enhancing substances.

The intense race for the playoffs is in full gear. Check out the latest situation in the postseason chase. More ...

Just a day after reports surfaced that both Seattle Seahawks starting cornerbacks were facing suspension, the NFL announced Monday that Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham has been suspended four games for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. Cunningham was the top backup to rookie Chandler Jones and was enjoying a strong season.

A second-round pick out of Florida in 2010, Cunningham entered training camp squarely on the roster bubble. He made the team and has carved out a role as a pass rusher with 15 QB hurries, five QB hits and three sacks according to ProFootball Focus. With Jones also injured, New England's shaky pass rush has big question marks. The Patriots face the Dolphins, Texans and 49ers over the next three weeks as they pursue a playoff bye.

Cunningham will be eligible to return before the team's regular-season finale.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.