New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata announced Friday he's facing an NFL suspension to open the 2021 season after testing positive for a banned substance.
Nick Underhill of WWLTV reported Onyemata would be suspended for six games.
Katherine Terrell of The Athletic provided a statement Onyemata posted on Instagram:
The 28-year-old defensive lineman previously received a one-game suspension in June 2019 for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy. He missed the first contest of the 2019 campaign.
Onyemata was selected by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of the University of Manitoba in Canada.
After spending most of his first three NFL seasons as a reserve, he became a full-time starter for New Orleans in 2019. He received a terrific 88.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his 15 appearances during the 2020 season.
In June, Onyemata told John DeShazier of the Saints' official website he planned to take on a larger leadership role in 2021.
"We've got a group of younger guys in here, [but] we've got a pretty good group right now," he said. "Right now, I'd say I'm the second oldest guy in the D-line room, so I've got to take that role as a leader in that room."
In all, Onyemata has recorded 167 total tackles, 16 sacks, five passes defended, one forced fumble and one interception across 78 games for the Saints. He's heading into the second season of a three-year, $26 million contract with the club.
Malcolm Roach, Ryan Glasgow and Christian Ringo lead the group of New Orleans linemen who'll likely compete throughout training camp and the preseason to fill the void next to Shy Tuttle at the outset of the regular season.