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NFL suspends Jerrell Freeman 10 games without pay for PED policy violation

This is the 2nd PED suspension for Freeman in the past two seasons.

Cleveland Browns v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Effective immediately, the NFL has suspended Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman without pay for the next 10 games, regular and/or postseason, for violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Freeman has been on the team’s Reserved/Injured list since Sept. 12, two days after the season-opening loss to the Falcons. He is on IR with a torn pectoral muscle, though he also went into the concussion protocol after the Falcons game.

Following the announcement of the suspension, Freeman tweeted an apology, and wrote about the effects of his head injury.

Asked today about the suspension, head coach John Fox said he would “respect what (Freeman) had to say,” adding that he was “disappointed.”

“(Players) are responsible for what they put in their body, so I’ll just leave it at that from my perspective,” Fox said.

This is Freeman’s second PED suspension in the past two seasons. He was suspended four games last year. Here is Freeman’s statement from last season’s suspension:

That suspension was the result of his first violation of the NFL’s program on substance abuse and performance enhancing substances, which the league and the NFL Players Association updated in 2014. First offense is a suspension up to six games, while the second offense is a 10-game suspension:

Excerpt from the NFL and NFLPA drug program, updated in 2014.

A 10th-year pro in his 2nd season with the Bears, Freeman turns 32 next May. Per Spotrac, he has one year and $3.5 million remaining on his contract. WCG’s Andrew Link pegged Freeman last week as a likely cap casualty in 2018.

More to come as this story develops.

Bears fans — how do you think Freeman’s suspension will affect his future with the Bears?