Jets’ LB Lee suspended for substance abuse
Will miss Bills game and rest of season
Linebacker Darron Lee of the New York Jets will miss the rest of the regular season after being suspended by the NFL on Friday for violating the league’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
The 6-1, 232-pound Lee, selected by the Jets with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2016 draft out of Ohio State, is set to enter the final year of his four-year, $10.2 million rookie contract in 2019. The suspension will cost him about $344,750.
Whether the Jets will pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract by the May deadline has been a question because he was something of a disappointment in his first two seasons in New York.
However, Lee has played better this season with 74 tackles, including five for losses, five passes defensed, and the first three interceptions of his career, including a pick-6 in the season opener that helped the Jets beat the Detroit Lions.
The 24-year-old Lee, who also has assumed done some of the Jets’ onfield play calling, will be eligible to return to the active roster the day after New York’s season finale against the New England Patriots on Dec. 30.
Meanwhile, New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold participated fully in practice for the third straight day on Friday, but head coach Todd Bowles would not say if he will return to the starting lineup on the road against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Darnold returned to practice a week ago before missing his third game because of a right foot injury and worked with the first team this week. Bowles didn’t say if Darnold of Josh McCown, who replaced Darnold, would start against the Bills.
Ravens’ Flacco practices
Quarterback Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens was a full participant in practice on Friday, but still might not be back on the field on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Flacco, who has missed the last three games because of a right hip injury, officially is listed at questionable, and if he does suit up he probably will be the backup to rookie Lamar Jackson.
Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner from Louisville who was the 32nd pick in the first round of this year’s draft by Baltimore, has led the Ravens (7-5) to three straight victories with Flacco on the sidelines.
“Yeah, there’s a scenario for that, sure,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said when asked if Flacco might suit up and play behind Jackson.
Around the league
• The Carolina Panthers signed kicker Chandler Catanzaro, who was brought in one day after Panthers kicker Graham Gano was limited in Thursday’s practice due to a left knee injury.
• The Tennessee Titans’ lopsided victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars came at a cost. Tight end Jonnu Smith suffered a knee injury in the first half of Thursday’s 30-9 romp and will miss the rest of the season, ESPN reported.
The Jets’ Darron Lee violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy.