Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson has been suspended for one game for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the league announced Thursday.
Richardson will be eligible to return to the Jets’ active roster on Monday, Sept. 12, after the team’s Week 1 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, an NFL spokesman said in a statement. He can participate in all preseason games and practices.
The suspension stems from Richardson’s July 2015 arrest in Missouri. The 2013 first-round pick had been facing five misdemeanor charges — including resisting arrest, which carried a sentence of up to a year in jail — after he was arrested for driving up to 143 mph on a Missouri interstate highway following a chase with police last offseason.
Police said there was a 12-year-old boy, a strong odor of marijuana and a legally owned but loaded handgun in his Bentley. Richardson avoided jail time by pleading guilty to reduced charges in January.
It’s Richardson’s second suspension in four years. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season because of a second failed test for marijuana. That suspension was announced 12 days before Richardson’s arrest.
Richardson acknowledged during organized team activities that he needs to stop his reckless behavior. He is looking forward to starting anew.
“It’s positive vibes,” Richardson told Newsday in May. “I’m past that. I’m past that phase in my life. Can’t really complain.”
Richardson, who said he has dropped from 320 pounds to 309, has 104 tackles and 16 1⁄2 sacks in 43 games for the Jets since being drafted 13th overall in 2013. He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year that season and went to the Pro Bowl in 2014 as an alternate after recording a team-high eight sacks.
Leonard Williams, the Jets’ sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft, figures to see more playing time in Richardson’s absence. The USC product had three sacks in 16 games as a rookie.
Meanwhile, the Jets are locked in a contract standoff with Richardson’s fellow defensive linemate, Muhammad Wilkerson, who has until July 15 to sign his $15.7- million franchise tag. Wilkerson, who is recovering from a broken leg suffered in Week 17 of last season, could hold out if an extension is not reached.
The Jets also lost nose tackle Damon Harrison to the Giants in free agency, though they were able to replace him with Steve McLendon of the Steelers.