Report: Pats’ Spikes suspended 4 games

New England Patriots inside linebacker Brandon Spikes was suspended for four games by the NFL Friday for using a banned substance, the Boston Herald reported.

The rookie from Florida will reportedly not appeal and will start his suspension Sunday, when the 10-2 Patriots travel to Chicago. He would be eligible to return for the Patriots’ first playoff game.

According to the report, Spikes was not found to have taken a steroid, but the exact substance has not been identified.

"The substance was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking," Spikes said. "It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug. The integrity of the game is very important to me."

The 23-year-old was a first-team All-American in 2008 and 2009 at Florida and was drafted in the second round by New England.