Running back Mike Goodson runs the ball during OTAs. (May...

Running back Mike Goodson runs the ball during OTAs. (May 30, 2013) Credit: Mike Stobe

The Jets announced Monday night that Mike Goodson has returned to the team and will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

He currently is on the active/non-football injury/Illness list and will be eligible to return to the active roster September 30.

While he serves his suspension, Goodson will be able to attend meetings and work out “on an individual basis” at the Jets’ practice facility. He will not be able to practice or play, however.

“I’ve been away from the team to take care of some important personal things,” the running back, who was arrested May 17 on weapons and drug charges, said in a statement released by the team.

“The time was helpful to me and now that I am back, I am going to do everything I can to contribute to the team. I appreciate all of the support from the Jets organization and I’m thankful to be back with my teammates.”

Goodson, 26, pled not guilty to five drugs and weapons charges after he was found
In the passenger seat of an SUV that was stopped in the center-left lane on Interstate 80 in Denville, N.J., at about 3:20 a.m. on May 17. Per New Jersey State troopers, a "strong odor" of marijuana was coming from the vehicle. A .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a hollow-point bullet also were found inside.

Both Goodson and the driver, Garant Evans, 31, denied owning the gun.

Goodson’s criminal case was sent to a Grand Jury following his brief June appearance in Morris County Superior Court.

The speedy running back was a no-show when players reported to Cortland for training camp on July 25, but the team maintained Goodson’s absence was excused. He was placed on the “Reserve Did Not Report”' list.

“While we welcome Mike back to the organization,” the Jets said in a statement,
“we have had direct conversations to make our expectations very clear as we work together to help him move forward in a positive manner, both on and off the field.”  

In a corresponding move, the Jets released TE Hayden Smith.

Due to his suspension, Goodson will lose $313,725 in base salary and forfeit signing bonus.

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