Packers DT Mike Pennel suspended for four games

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the second straight year, the Green Bay Packers will be without one of their rotational defensive linemen because of a suspension to start the season.

Defensive tackle Mike Pennel, who played in every game in 2015 including five starts, has been suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, the NFL announced Friday.

The suspension is for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. The announcement by the league indicates that all appeals, if any were filed, have been exhausted.

Last year the Packers were without defensive linemen Letroy Guion (suspended three games) and Datone Jones (one game) to start the season. Both were suspended for marijuana-related issuses.

The former undrafted free agent ranked fifth among Packers defensive linemen in playing time last season with 314 snaps, or 26.5 percent of the defensive plays. He recorded 25 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in his second year.

Pennel is eligible to participate in all offseason activities, including preseason games. His suspension stands even if he is released before the start of the season. The suspension will cost Pennel $141,176 of his $600,000 base pay, which is payable only if he's still on the team.

The Packers have already re-signed two potential free agents on the defensive line: Guion and Mike Daniels. It could open the door for the Packers to also re-sign B.J. Raji, who would be a free agent next month.

The Packers declined comment on Pennel’s suspension.