The Chicago Bears have been rocked today by a suspension being dealt to one of their star players.
Roger Goodell and the National Football League today handed down a four-game suspension to Alshon Jeffery after the wide receiver apparently violated the league's performance-enhancing substances policy.
It was the NFL themselves that announced the news, releasing a statement earlier today that included a quote from Bears head coach John Fox.
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"We're very disappointed," Fox said. "He's fairly embarrassed about it. We'll support him and welcome him back after serving his suspension."
This is huge not only for the Bears - whose chances of making the playoffs plummetted further - and Jeffery himself, who will be heading into free agency at the end of this season.
The wide receiver is playing on a $14.6 million franchise tag this season after sides couldn't come to a long-term agreement this summer. The four-game ban - which is unpaid - will see Jeffery miss out on nearly $4million.
Jeffery was supposed to be the long-term successor to Brandon Marshall in Chicago, however, he has suffered with multiple injury problems that have caused him to miss games and this latest development won't help him at all.
Despite his problems, Jeffery was leading all Bears receivers with over 600 receiving yards so far in 2016. Now, with the former Pro Bowler out of action, the Bears will have to turn to Cameron Meredith and Zach Miller to head up their passing attack, with former first-round pick Kevin White out injured.
After being selected in the second round of the 2012 Draft out of South Carolina, Jeffery has 292 receptions for 4,358 yards and 25 touchdowns in the colours of the Bears. We will have to wait and see if he remains a part of the organization next year.