Indianapolis Colts tight end Weslye Saunders has been suspended eight games without pay after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
League officials did not say Thursday what substance was found in Saunders’ test. The former South Carolina Gamecock can practice with the Colts throughout training camp and will be eligible to play in preseason games. But he won’t be eligible to play in the regular season until after the Colts’ game Nov. 3 against Houston.
Saunders is no stranger to controversy.
Last year, the NFL imposed a four-game suspension on Saunders for violating the same substance policy. The Steelers subsequently released Saunders in October. Indianapolis signed him five days later and he wound up catching two passes for 15 yards with the Colts.
BUCCANEERS: Traded cornerback Eric Wright to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional pick in the 2014 draft.
Signed as a free agent last year, Wright had a rocky first season with the Bucs. He missed part of the off-season program while dealing with an undisclosed medical condition. He was later suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Wright played in 10 games with Tampa Bay, finishing with 37 tackles and one interception. In 2011 with the Detroit Lions, Wright started 16 games and had four interceptions.
After last season, Wright agreed to a restructured contract that included a large pay cut, which seemed to clear the way for him to stay with the Bucs.
PATRIOTS: Released veteran wide receiver Donald Jones.
The move was made, in part, to clear the way for younger receivers to receive more opportunities. That group includes rookie free agent Kenbrell Thompkins, who had a strong spring and was taking first-team repetitions by the end of mandatory minicamp.
The Patriots also drafted Aaron Dobson (second round) and Josh Boyce (fourth round) this year. Jones, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, signed a three-year contract with the Patriots on March 15. The deal didn’t include any guaranteed money, but included a $200,000 bonus for reporting to training camp and a $235,000 roster bonus.