Aug. 21 (UPI) -- New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland was suspended for four games without pay for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the league announced Wednesday.
Copeland is eligible to practice and play in the Jets' final two preseason games. Once the regular-season begins, he can't return to the roster until after the Jets' Week 5 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 7.
The 28-year-old linebacker posted on Instagram that a supplement he took was contaminated with a banned substance.
"I've spent the better part of 28 years building and working on my legacy," Copeland wrote. "I began taking a supplement after multiple verifications that it was safe for me to use. Unfortunately, this supplement was contaminated with a banned substance not on its label.
"I trust that the people who know my heart understand that I would never intentionally take a banned substance. To be quite honest, I'm very fond of hard work and wouldn't want success with the artificial help."
Copeland had a breakout season in 2018, finishing with a career-high 35 total tackles and five sacks in 16 regular-season games (10 starts). The Jets signed linebacker Stephone Anthony ahead of the suspension Tuesday night.
Along with Copeland, the Jets' linebacking corps will be without starter Avery Williamson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team's second preseason game. In the duo's absence, New York's top outside linebackers are Jordan Jenkins, Frankie Luvu and Tarell Basham.