The NFL suspended Herndon for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the league's policy and program on substances of abuse.
The 23-year-old pleaded guilty in January to DWI stemming from a June 2018 accident. Herndon received a four-game suspension, not the normal two because a woman at the scene claimed bodily harm due to the crash, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Herndon is allowed to participate in training camp and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Monday, Oct. 7, following the team's game at Philadelphia.
The second-year tight end flashed playmaking ability toward the end of his rookie campaign, compiling 39 catches for 502 yards with four touchdowns. Heading into 2019, Herndon expected to see significant snaps atop the Jets TE depth chart. Now a potential breakout will have to wait until October.
Tight end is a shallow spot on the Jets' roster, magnified by Herndon's suspension. Eric Tomlinson is a blocker, catching just eight passes each of the last two seasons. Daniel Brown could be a candidate for increased snaps after reportedly having a good spring, but he was used sparingly in Chicago last year, playing just 23 offensive snaps, catching zero passes, and has just 35 total in four seasons. And Trevon Wesco was a fourth-round draft pick this season. The Jets could add to the position to get through Herndon's suspension.
Here are other suspensions announced by the league on Friday:
- Former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Malik McDowell received a two-game suspension Friday, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The 2017 second-round pick has yet to play a game in the NFL. McDowell suffered a head injury in a vehicular accident summer of 2017 and spent his rookie season on the non-football injury list. He was later waived by the Seahawks in 2018.