Report: Fins NT Ferguson suspended

Much of the speculation surrounding the Miami Dolphins' need for a nose tackle pertained to whether they would bring back unrestricted free agent Jason Ferguson, who is 35 and coming off a torn quadriceps injury.

Based on a report from Howard Balzer for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the Dolphins are going to need a nose tackle even if they re-sign Ferguson.

Balzer, also a noted sportscaster in St. Louis and Sirius NFL Radio, reports the NFL has suspended Ferguson and St. Louis Rams tackle Ryan Tucker for the first eight games of the 2010 season. Balzer writes the suspensions are believed to be for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

To be suspended eight games indicates a repeat offender. Ferguson was suspended for four games in 1999 with the New York Jets because he tested positive for steroids.

The Dolphins could bring Ferguson back. He would be allowed to take part in the offseason program and preseason games. His suspension would begin with Week 1. But Ferguson turns 36 in November.

Ferguson suffered his quad injury in Week 11 and missed the Dolphins' final five games. Third-year pro Paul Soliai handled the job for the rest of the season.