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Brady among notable players back from suspension

Tom Brady is back.

The New England Patriots quarterback returned from a four-game suspension Monday stemming from Deflategate.

"He's our leader and it's going to be great to have him out there," Julian Edelman said after Sunday's 16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills. "We're going to have to have a great week of preparation to get back in sync, that's where it all starts from, going out there and having a good week in practice."

Bill Belichick coached the Pats to a 3-1 record without his future Hall of Fame quarterback using two different signal-callers, Jimmy Garoppolo (2-0) and rookie Jacoby Brissett (1-1).

Brady's return will surely propel the Patriots to an eighth straight AFC East championship.

Brady isn't the only player coming off a four-game ban*:

  1. Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich served a four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. Ninkovich suffered a triceps injury in August, but NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports Ninkovich is now healthy and could possibly play this Sunday.
  1. Bills defensive Marcell Dareus was suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Dareus checked into a rehab facility last month. The Bills tweeted Monday morning " 99 is back" and last week GM Doug Whaley discussed Dareus' return as if it were a formality.
  1. The trenches get upgraded on both sides of the ball in Buffalo. Bills OT Seantrel Henderson returns from serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
  1. Dallas Cowboys defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence was suspended four games for violating league's substance-abuse policy. The Cowboys' defense hasn't been terrible but could use an injection of playmaking Lawrence brings. The Cowboys have just six sacks through four games.
  1. San Francisco 49ers OLB Aaron Lynch was suspended four games for violating the substance-abuse policy. With injuries taking their toll, Chip Kelly's defense gets its best pass rusher back.
  1. Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins was suspended four games for violating the policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Collins will be a rotational player in Atlanta's back end.
  1. Jaguars corner Aaron Colvin returns from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Colvin played well in spurts last season and could take snaps away from Davon House, who has been toasted this season.
  1. Running back Karlos Williams was suspended four games for violating the substance-abuse policy. Williams is currently a free agent. Now that his suspension is over a team could decide the power back is worth the risk. The question is whether Williams is in shape after sitting out a month.
  1. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon remains on the reserve/suspended by commissioner list until further notice, a source informed of the situation told Rapoport. Gordon was initially scheduled to return this week as part of the terms of his reinstatement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before announcing Thursday he was entering rehab.
  1. Armonty Bryant was suspended four games for violating the policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Rapoport reported Monday that the Browns released Bryant. The defensive tackle could be facing further penalty after a July misdemeanor drug charge.
  1. Johnny Manziel's four-game suspension games for violating the substance-abuse policy is over. The ex-Browns quarterback is a free agent. Manziel has several hurdles to leap before an NFL team gives him another shot.

*Teams getting players back will likely request and receive roster exemptions for returning players.

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