Sheldon Richardson on return: 'I'm coming to eat'

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  • By Andie Hagemann NFL.com
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A key cog is back for the Gang Green defensive line.

Sheldon Richardson returned to the Jets' practice field on Monday and said he's "coming to eat." Richardson completed his four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy and is cleared to practice and play. He's expected to make his season debut on Sunday versus the Washington Redskins.

Richardson's suspension was for marijuana. However, he has a pending matter from his July arrest in Missouri on charges of resisting arrest and traffic violations -- he was clocked at 143 miles per hour and led authorities on a high-speed chase. The league could hand down additional discipline for this violation but Richardson says he doesn't expect to incur such further penalties until after his Nov. 9 court date.

As part of the suspension's protocol, the defensive tackle was barred from attending meetings and workouts, forcing him to practice on his own. Being separated from his own teammates and coaching staff proved to be an extremely difficult time for Richardson.

Every game, all season

"It was strange," Richardson said via the New York Post. "Once again, that was something mentally I had to deal with. Going from Team MVP to not playing, so that was a lot. Pro Bowl season to not playing, that was a lot to deal with. (I was) down on myself, but I'm alright now. (I had to) just deal with it one day at a time."

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year has learned from his offseason troubles.

"I think he learned a lot," Bowles said. "Something like that can be humbling for sure. He's kept his hands clean and stayed out of trouble, as far as I know. He's been here all the time. You learn from that and you grow. In your 20s you do something like that, you'll look back and learn a lesson from it. Hopefully, we can all move on from it."

The Jets defensive live already boasts Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Leonard Williams. Bowles said the team needs to decide how to incorporate all four of their defensive weapons effectively.

Richardson simply said the fearsome foursome means "No breaks" for opposing quarterbacks. A friendly competition already exists between Richardson and Wilkerson -- one that started when he joined the team in 2013. In 2014, he tallied eight sacks.

"I'm coming. This is it. I'm coming. He welcomes the challenge," Richardson said. "That's how we do (it), Snacks (Damon Harrison) too, even (Leger Douzable) a few times. I just let them know of the competitive nature of all of us, Leo (Williams), he just joined, so I told him too, I'm coming."

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