Alan Branch Wins Suspension Appeal: Latest Details and Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Alan Branch #97 of the New England Patriots during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on October 30, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

New England Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch has won his appeal to overturn a four-game suspension. Field Yates of ESPN reported the news Saturday.

The NFL initially handed down Branch's suspension for violating the league's drug policy Nov. 21, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Schefter reported Branch tested positive for marijuana and that Branch had appealed the suspension. 

Branch said he didn't know why he failed the drug test, adding, "That's why I'm appealing it. We'll see what happens from there," per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. On Nov. 27, Branch said he had yet to have an appeal hearing, per Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com. 

On Nov. 21, the Boston Globe's Ben Volin said the initial ruling of a suspension indicated the fourth time Branch has tested positive for the substance.

Volin provided the NFL policy on the drug:

Branch, 31, has registered 39 tackles, six stuffs, a sack and a forced fumble this season, starting 10 games. Certainly, regaining a big body like Branch in the middle of the line will help the team's run defense.

Mike Reiss of ESPN.com broke down the team's depth chart on the line:

Having Branch on the field will help New England as it looks to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    

Statistics courtesy of ESPN.com.

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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