Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports broke the news:
Hearing #Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe will be suspended by the NFL for one game in relation to a marijuana possession arrest from last year.— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) August 15, 2014
Adam Schefter of ESPN confirmed the expected punishment:
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe is being suspended one game for substance abuse and will miss the opener vs. Tennessee, per a team source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 15, 2014
Yahoo Sports' Brian McIntyre provided a statement from the receiver through the NFL Players Association:
Dwayne Bowe issues statement on suspension through the NFLPA: pic.twitter.com/WhFZApQfMY— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) August 15, 2014
McIntyre also reported the Chiefs' statement on the suspension:
Chiefs statement on Bowe suspension pic.twitter.com/9Vnjt7IwBC— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) August 15, 2014
Bowe is coming off a down season that saw him catch just 57 passes for 673 yards and five touchdowns. It was the worst statistical season of his career on a per-game basis, but the team was hoping he could bounce back in 2014.
The suspension is related to an arrest last November for marijuana possession. Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star reported back in April that the wideout pleaded guilty to lesser charges and ended up paying a fine:
Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday in Riverside Municipal Court to amended charges of defective equipment and littering relating to his Nov. 10 arrest for marijuana possession.
The city prosecutor, Amy Ashefford, said Bowe paid $610 in fines.
The report also notes a passenger in the car claimed possession of the marijuana and stated Bowe had no knowledge he was carrying it.
McIntyre provided the financial details of the suspension:
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe suspended without pay for season-opener. With $8.75M base salary this year, one weeks’ pay for him is $514,706.— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) August 15, 2014
Bowe entered training camp in noticeably better shape. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today during the offseason that increasing his fitness level is crucial at this stage of his career.
What's your opinion of the punishment?
"I made the initiative to be in better shape," he said. "I'm getting older, and talking to the old vets, the only way you last longer is to be in better conditioning. I took that to the heart and am training extremely hard this year."
A finger injury has limited his contributions during the early stages of preparations, however.
Even though it's just one game, the loss is notable for Kansas City due to its lack of depth at wide receiver. Donnie Avery will likely step into a bigger role, but the Chiefs will rely even more heavily on the running game in Week 1.
Once Bowe is eligible to play, he should immediately become the No. 1 target in the passing game again. The jury is still out as to whether he's capable of putting up big numbers, though.