The Denver Broncos have announced that defensive end Derek Wolfe has been suspended four games for violating the league's performance and enhancing substances policy.
DE Derek Wolfe suspended four games for violation of league’s policy on performance enhancing substances: http://t.co/t0mCwjiJhF— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) July 24, 2015
Wolfe released a statement minutes after his suspension was announced.
"During the off-season I took a medication which is on the banned substance list," Wolfe said in a statement released by the NFLPA on Friday. "The medication is not a substance which would enhance my on-field performance in any way, and I genuinely was unaware that it was prohibited, but players are responsible for what is in their bodies. I will certainly exercise far greater caution in the future and will seek advice relating to the permissibility of any and all medications. I'm very disappointed that I can't help my team for the first four weeks of the season, but I look forward to a great season with the Broncos and can't wait to get back on the field in week five."
Wolfe was figured to be the starter at one of the defensive end spots in Wade Phillip's 3-4 defense. Now it leaves the Broncos a little shaky at defensive line.
Wolfe will miss the first four games of the season, and the Antonio Smith situation still remains unresolved. This leaves veteran Vance Walker, Kenny Anunike, and rookie Josh Watson as the other options. It's possible we could see Marvin Austin or rookie Darius Kilgo take some reps at that position as well.
#Broncos HC Gary Kubiak "disappointed'' with Derek Wolfe for 4-game suspension. First name he mentions as replacement: Vance Walker— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) July 24, 2015
The Broncos could look to sign a replacement. Some of the names available are Da'Quan Bowers, Red Bryant, Tommy Kelly, and Barry Cofield.
Derek Wolfe totaled 35 tackles, and 1.5 sacks for the Broncos in 2014. During his career with the team he has totaled 61 tackles and 11.5 sacks.