NFL suspends Lions' Leshoure two games
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure has been suspended without pay for the first two games of the season after being arrested for possession of marijuana twice in less than a month this offseason.
The NFL made the announcement Wednesday afternoon after determining that Leshoure was in violation of the NFL policy and program for substances of abuse. Leshoure's punishment also includes an additional fine that is the equivalent of two more game checks.
In all, Leshoure will be out nearly $110,000, but he will be eligible to participate in training camp and all preseason games.
From the Lions' perspective as a team, it could be worse. There was speculation Leshoure might be suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell for up to four games.
Leshoure ended up pleading guilty to a lesser possession charge in each case. Both incidents occurred in the western part of Michigan in February and March.
It's not even known at this time whether Leshoure, a second-round pick in 2011, will be ready to play early in the season. He is still recovering from surgery for a torn Achilles' tendon in his left foot that forced him to miss his entire rookie season.
“We support the commissioner’s decision regarding Mikel and appreciate the dialogue that we have had with the league office concerning the matter," Lions club president Tom Lewand said in a statement.
“As we have previously stated, we expect every member of our organization to uphold a greater standard of behavior. If that standard is not upheld, those responsible will be held accountable.
“Our belief and expectation is that Mikel will continue to learn from this experience and use it as positive motivation moving forward.”
The Lions' opener is at home against St. Louis on Sept. 9, followed by a road game against San Francisco a week later.
The first time Leshoure will be eligible to play is on Sept. 23 at Tennessee.
The NFL is still waiting for two incidents involving defensive tackle Nick Fairley to be settled in court before possibly issuing another suspension to a key Lions player.
Fairley recently was arrested twice in less than two months in his hometown of Mobile, Ala., first for marijuana possession and then for driving under the influence of alcohol.