Dallas Cowboys defensive end David Irving was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL policy on substances of abuse, the NFL announced on Friday.
It marks the second straight season in which Irving will miss the first four games due to a suspension. Last year, he was penalized for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy.
The 24-year-old Irving had seven sacks in just eight games last season. He also missed the final four games due to a concussion.
Irving was a restricted free agent in the offseason and the Cowboys tendered him for $2.91 million. He will lose just under $685,000 in salary.
Irving will be eligible to return to the Cowboys on Oct. 1 ahead of the team’s Week 5 road game against the Houston Texans.
Irving also was accused of domestic violence by a former girlfriend in April. The woman later recanted the story and no charges were filed after police in Frisco, Texas investigated the allegation.
Irving spoke to reporters on Thursday and insisted he was a changed person.
“There’s more to my life than just football,” Irving said. “I’m actually a real person. I have family issues, a lot of issues I’ve been dealing with. I can’t go into much detail. Just know it’s behind me. By the time the season starts, I won’t be dealing with any of this BS anymore.”
—Field Level Media