Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Miami Dolphins running back Mark Walton was suspended four games for violating the league's conduct and substance abuse policy, the NFL announced Monday.
Walton's four-game suspension, which is without pay, stemmed from his three off-season arrests between January and March. The Dolphins said they were in communication with the NFL for the last few weeks about the pending discipline.
"We have been in communication with the NFL regarding Mark's suspension," Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said in a statement Monday. "The conduct of our players is very important and Mark has done everything we have asked of him both on and off the field since signing with the Dolphins. We look forward to having him back at the conclusion of his suspension."
Walton, who joined the team in the off-season after his release from the Cincinnati Bengals, has served as the Dolphins' starting tailback over the last four games. He has rushed for 201 yards on 53 carries this season.
Walton will be eligible to return Dec. 2 after the Dolphins' Week 13 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. He is permitted to attend meetings and be at the team's facility during the suspension, but he won't practice or play for the next four weeks.
In Walton's absence, Kalen Ballage is expected to take over as the Dolphins' lead back. He began the season as Miami's No. 1 tailback before Kenyan Drake, who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals last week, grabbed the starting job.
Rookie running backs Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin could also see increased playing time.