New England Patriots 2017 NFL Mock Draft. Vito Babe Parilli

New England Patriots tight end Lance Kendricks has been suspended without pay for the first game of the coming season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter notes that Kendricks is being suspended for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse.

While this suspension is only for one game, it puts tremendous pressure on New England’s offense right out of the gate. Already paper thin at tight end following the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Pats could have used Kendricks’ veteran presence in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, to be sure. Especially because Ben Watson is also suspended four games for a PED violation.



The 31-year-old tight end signed a one-year deal worth just over $1 million with New England this offseason. Last year, playing for the Green Bay Packers, Kendricks caught 19 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown.