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Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff suspended three games for substance abuse policy violation

Suspension comes from an incident on Jan. 22, 2013, when Ratliff was still with the Cowboys.

Ratliff, suspended for three games due to a 2013 incident, can return October 4th.
Ratliff, suspended for three games due to a 2013 incident, can return October 4th.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremiah Ratliff will be out for the first three games of the 2015 season:

Back when he was still going by Jay, Ratliff was arrested on a DWI charge, crashing into a tractor trailer overnight. Failing the sobriety test at the scene. This was, of course, shortly after his teammate was killed in an DWI accident just one month earlier.

Ratliff pleaded guilty during the offseason, receiving probation and a fine. During that court visit, he showed documentation that he had been through abuse evaluation, attended DWI courses and a vicitim impact panel, while also performing community service.

This is a blow to a defense that is still trying to figure out where it is, and who is on it. While Ratliff is a lock to stay on the roster, this does present some problems.

Ratliff can currently practice with the team, and play in the preseason games. (He figures to see the most action of the preseason this Saturday against the Bengals.)  However, once the season begins, he is only allowed to attend team meetings.

Here's the Bears schedule the first three weeks:

  • Green Bay
  • Arizona
  • at Seattle

All games where you'd definitely like to have one of your most experienced linemen. Ratliff is eligible to play again versus Oakland on October 4th.

Will this change what we see of Ratliff for the rest of the preseason? It seems to reason that if Goldman is now thrust into the starting spot, even temporarily, he has to get the majority of the first team reps from now until Ratliff comes back. It also leaves the Bears thin at a position that is very important in their new system. If the NT can't step up and eat a couple blockers regularly, the roaming linebackers will have no place to go.

This is bad news, Bears fans, but not the end of the world. Do you think Goldman can step up and show why he was a top 40 draft pick in 2015? Why or why not?

EDIT: It's being reported that Ratliff will not appeal his suspension.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bears DL Jeremiah Ratliff is not expected to pursue an appeal. He&#39;ll miss the Bears&#39; first three games: vs. GB, vs. ARI, at SEA</p>&mdash; Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) <a href="">August 24, 2015</a></blockquote>

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