July 31 (UPI) — New Detroit Lions safety Jayron Kearse was suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the league announced Friday.
Kearse, who was a member of the Minnesota Vikings at the time, was charged with DWI and carrying a firearm without a permit in October. The defensive back later apologized for his actions, saying the arrest is “not a reflection of who I am as a person.”
The NFL didn’t disclose whether Kearse’s suspension is related to that October arrest. The league’s new collective bargaining agreement mandates a three-game ban for driving under the influence of alcohol.
“We were aware of the situation in free agency, obviously vetted the situation. We talked with Jayron and felt comfortable with him and the situation,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia told reporters Friday. “Obviously, [we] have gotten to know him a lot more since free agency and just felt comfortable with all of it. We knew it was something that was coming.
“… It’s a league matter, and I’ll leave it at that. But it is something we were aware of during free agency.”
Kearse, 26, signed a one-year contract with the Lions in March after spending four seasons with the Vikings. In 15 games last season, he recorded 28 total tackles, one interception and six passes defensed.
Kearse is eligible to return to the team Sept. 28 following the Lions’ game against the Arizona Cardinals.