Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson brought some headlines to the New York Jets that will unfortunately set the team back to start the upcoming 2015 NFL season. Here’s the official tweet from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:
Sheldon Richardson suspended without pay for the first 4 games of the 2015 season for violating NFL Policy & Program for Substances of Abuse
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) July 2, 2015
Tough news for New York Jets fans today, pro-bowl defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson has been suspended for the first quarter of the 2015 season. It’s utterly shocking and quite frankly completely out of left field. As reported by Mehta, marijuana was the reason for the suspension.
We saw what happened a few months ago when all-pro receiver Josh Gordon received a full-year suspension for his marijuana use. Hopefully for Richardson, this is just a case of being young and stupid and not a preview of things to come for the star defensive end.
This is bad news for Richardson looking to continue his development, but good news for Leonard Williams, the 6th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. He will now be the projected starter opposite of Muhammad Wilkerson in the base 3-4 defense heading into 2015.
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Though Williams is going to have big shoes to fill for the first four games of the season, he won’t have to bear it alone. This Jets’ defensive line is one of the deepest in the entire NFL.
With guys like Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, and Leger Douzable on top of a stable of veterans in Kevin Vickerson and Stephen Bowen. The Jets are lucky in one regard that this suspension hit them in one of their deeper position groups.
Let’s have a quick review who the Jets play in their first four games of the season. The Jets open the first quarter of the season against: Cleveland, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and Miami respectively. Though it may be difficult to quantify how much this suspension will affect the Jets in regards to their specific opponents.
What can be quantified though, is the fact the Jets will be without one of their best players heading into a the 2015 season. To reiterate from a fan’s perspective, hopefully this can be a learning experience for Richardson.
For more things about Richardson be sure to check out: Sheldon Richardson: Top 5 things to expect in 2015. Also, please share your thoughts on what expectations could change now with this suspension in place by leaving some comments below.