For the second time this offseason, a member of the Detroit Lions defensive line has been suspended. Defensive end Armonty Bryant was suspended by the league on Tuesday for the first four games of the 2017 season due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
This is the third suspension Bryant has faced in just two years. While with the Cleveland Browns, Bryant was given a four-game ban for substance abuse in 2016. He was released by the team once his suspension was over. The Lions immediately swiped Bryant up, but he was then served another three game suspension, this time for performance-enhancing drugs.
Bryant’s latest violation will cost the him the first four weeks of the 2017 season. Just a month ago, Lions defensive tackle Khyri Thornton was suspended six games for substance abuse.
The two losses have left Detroit’s defensive line—already considered one of the roster’s weak spots—even more depleted. The Lions did add the likes of Cornelius Washington, Akeem Spence and Jordan Hill in free agency, but didn’t add a defensive lineman until the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
This suspension leaves the door open for players like second-year Anthony Zettel or Brandon Copeland to grab a roster spot they may not have won otherwise.
As for Bryant, you have to wonder if this is his last straw. Three suspensions in two years is three too many. The Lions could save $655,000 in cap space if they release Bryant while suffering $40,000 in dead cap, according to OverTheCap.com.