Gill benched by Wildcats for week of practice, first game

Northwestern defensive tackle John Gill has been suspended for the first week of preseason practice and the Wildcats' season opener for violating team policy, the school announced Tuesday night.

Gill, considered the team's top defensive player, has made 30 career starts and recorded 8.5 tackles for a loss last season. The senior earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a junior and ranked sixth on the team with 50 tackles.

He can begin practicing with the team Aug. 11 in Kenosha, Wis., and could return for the Wildcats' Week 2 matchup at Duke on Sept. 6.

Adam Rittenberg covers the Big Ten for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.