Kellen Winslow Jr. Suspended 4 Games for PED Use

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 11, 2013

The NFL has suspended New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. for four games after he violated the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.


UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 13, at 2:10 p.m. ET

Kellen Winslow Jr. released a statement on Twitter:

I'll be vindicated in the future and my name will be cleared. Be back with my team soon. Go Jets!

— Kellen Winslow Jr. (@KellenWinslowJr) October 13, 2013

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NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal broke the news on Friday, while Seth Walder of the New York Daily News noted that Winslow can return on Nov. 4, the day after the Jets play the New Orleans Saints:

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport provided quotes from Winslow, who commented on his suspension:

This came after's Rich Cimini reported that Winslow was already doubtful for Week 6's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium:

However, Cimini did hint at the suspension, noting that Winslow did not practice Friday, and not because of a knee injury.

Winslow logged a team-high 17 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns through the first five games of the 2013 season. He had established himself as a key contributor after registering just one catch last season as a member of the New England Patriots.

The loss looms largest for rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who clearly relied on Winslow to be one of his go-to targets in a passing game that was already limited in terms of weapons.

As Cimini pointed out above, the Jets will be without their best receiver in Santonio Holmes for Sunday's contest, facing a Pittsburgh defense that ranks fifth in the NFL against the pass.

That puts the onus on Smith to continue his rapid progression and creates a void that must be filled by second-string tight end Jeff Cumberland, who has averaged an impressive 19.9 yards on seven catches and scored two touchdowns himself.

When Winslow is eligible to return, the Jets will be entering their Week 10 bye after facing the Steelers, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Saints, respectively.

With such a brutal schedule and the absence of a dynamic receiving tight end, it will be interesting to see if the surprising 3-2 Jets can sustain their momentum through the midway point of the season.