A league spokesperson informed NFL Media on Tuesday that the New England Patriots running back has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.
Blount is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices. He'll be permitted to make his season debut come Week 2.
After running for just 266 yards over 11 games with the Steelers, Blount hammered defenses for 281 yards over New England's final five games of the regular season. He blasted opponents for another 189 yards over three playoff tilts under coach Bill Belichick.
It's a brief suspension, but Blount's absence -- assuming he makes the team -- puts New England in a pinch out of the gate. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are also gone, leaving Jonas Gray, Brandon Bolden and James Develin next up to carry the rock. We consider the Patriots a logical candidate to pick up help in the draft.