Green Bay Packers tight end Jace Sternberger will be suspended for the first two games of the 2021 NFL season after violating the league's substance-abuse policy, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Sternberger explained what led to the ban in a post on Twitter:
Sternberger will still be allowed to work out with the team during training camp and play in Green Bay's three preseason games. The earliest he can play in the regular season is Sept. 26 in a Week 3 clash with the San Francisco 49ers.
A third-round pick in the 2019 draft, the 24-year-old caught 12 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown in 12 games last season. He missed the final four games of the regular season with a concussion and wasn't activated for the Packers' two playoff contests.
Heading into the campaign, head coach Matt LaFleur offered an encouraging outlook regarding how Sternberger would be utilized in the offense. That was after general manager Brian Gutekunst said the team was "excited where he can go."
Independent of the concussion, his production left something to be desired given the expectations LaFleur and Gutekunst had set. The suspension doesn't exactly help him, either, as he approaches what could be an important year in his career.
Sternberger's rookie contract takes him through 2022, but it wouldn't cost the Packers much ($251,632 in dead money with $995,000 in salary-cap savings) to move on altogether next offseason.