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Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert to serve 4-game suspension

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The Pittsburgh Steelers will play without a key offensive lineman for the next four games.

The team announced on Monday that right tackle Marcus Gilbert has been suspended without pay for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

"We are disappointed that Marcus Gilbert has been suspended four games for using performance-enhancing substances. He will not appeal the NFL's decision," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in statement.

"The suspension is effective immediately, and he will not be permitted in the building until after the suspension has concluded following our game on Dec. 17."

Gilbert issued the following apology on Twitter a short time later:

Gilbert will miss Sunday night's tilt with the Packers followed by games against the Bengals, Ravens and Patriots. Upon his return, Gilbert will be eligible to play Week 16 against the Texans before suiting up for the regular-season finale at home against the Browns.

It's a considerable loss for Pittsburgh, with Gilbert grading out at the league's 11th-ranked tackle, per Pro Football Focus. The 6-foot-6 blocker has started 80 games for the Steelers since he was chosen in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Pittsburgh also has Chris Hubbard and Jerald Hawkins at tackle, but they represent a tangible downgrade from Gilbert.

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