More than 20 NFL players will be sitting out Week 1 because of suspensions each received from the league this offseason, and among that group are four household names: Julian Edelman, Thomas Davis, Jameis Winston and Mark Ingram II.
Though the length of each suspension varies for each player, the NFL's rules of what the players are prohibited from doing are straightforward. Players cannot: visit the team facility; attend or watch practice; have contact with team personnel; exchange game plans, playbooks, plays or videos from an electronic device such as a computer or cellphone; be involved in football-related activities or conversations with teammates away from the facility, including workouts; be a spectator in the stands at home or away games; and attend any team or league news conferences.
Here's what these four stars have to say about their suspensions and what their plans are while they're away from their teams.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots wide receiver
Suspension: Will miss first four games for violating league's policy on performance-enhancing substances
Edelman didn't want to share too many details on how he plans to stay sharp during his suspension, but he did reveal one thing: He will definitely be watching the games.
"I'll have my Patriots hat on and probably a soda and popcorn," he said with a smile.
Edelman was refreshingly candid when discussing how the final week of the preseason was tough for him, as it was a reality check that he won't be around the team.
At the same time, showing that he has come to grips with the situation, he joked that he planned to have former Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich suited up in his gear and chasing him around to keep him sharp.
"That's what we're going to do," he said, with a chuckle.
Edelman, who added that quarterback Tom Brady has been "very helpful" in sharing with him how he handled a four-game NFL suspension in 2016, got a lot of work in the first three preseason games, totaling 71 offensive snaps. Since he is coming back from a torn ACL that sidelined him for the 2017 season, he relayed he hopes to use the extra time to his advantage.
"I put myself in this situation so it's more of, 'Let's get myself ready for when I can play.' Taking extra time to get my knee feeling great," he said. -- Mike Reiss
Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers linebacker
Suspension: Will miss first four games for violating league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs
Davis planned to sit in the seats he owns at Bank of America Stadium during the three home games he will miss during his four-game suspension.
The NFL rules said no.
The 2014 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year planned to spend more time working with the Carolina organization on charity events in conjunction with his "Defending Dreams" foundation during the suspension.
The NFL rules said no.
"A ton of rules I had no clue about," Davis said.
Davis also won't be able to be at the stadium or keep his playbook during the length of his suspension.
"You can't keep any of those things, but they can't take my notes away that I've taken," he said. "I'll make sure I stay on top of that, watching the games from afar since as a PSL owner I can't use my tickets. I found that out the hard way. Really, just trying to stay positive and be a part of it the best I can."
Not being able to sit in the stands and watch the only team he's played for since entering the league as the 14th pick of the 2005 draft was hardest on Davis.
"It was tough and extremely disappointed to know that you go and spend your hard-earned money to be a PSL owner for a team and the NFL rules states that you can't use them, which I had no clue that was in the rulebook," Davis said. "It's tough. There's going to be a lot of deserving kids that are going to use my tickets."
Davis plans to give his tickets to kids through his foundation. He just can't be a part of any organized event with the foundation in conjunction with the Panthers.
Davis vows to be in the best shape of his career when he returns in five weeks -- an extra week because Carolina has a bye during the suspension.
The suspension has given Davis a better appreciation for the game he loves. It's a major reason he wants to return in 2019 even though he said in January this would be his last season.
"I can tell you right now, as I sit and think about me not being able to come over here, me not being able to play the games, it makes me want to play even more," Davis said. "If this, and the feeling I have right now is any indication of what it's going to be like when I can't play no more, it's going to be a miserable life." -- David Newton
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback
Suspension: Will miss first three games for violating the league's personal conduct policy stemming from an incident with an Uber driver in March 2016
When Winston was asked how would be spending his three-game suspension, he responded: "I'm going to be working my tail off." He was then asked how hard it would be to go from a preseason where he threw for 388 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 126.9 to no football at all. His response? "I'm not stopping."
The plan is for Winston to remain in Tampa and keep the same schedule he would have as if he were with the team. He has lined up a group of wide receivers to throw to daily. He acknowledged though, that the hardest part of being away from the team is not having the camaraderie of the locker room.
"That's the most challenging part," Winston said. "But I believe in these guys. We're going to go out there and execute, we're going to get some wins and I can't wait to get back."
The one thing he gets to look forward to is spending time with his newborn son, Antonor. During training camp, he would drive about 40 miles round trip every night to tuck him into bed.
"Just the perspective of being a father is really indescribable," Winston said. "I enjoy every moment, I cherish every moment with my son and that's something that I'm going to enjoy during this time that I'm going to be away from this team and spending time with my family, growing with my son and my fiancée." -- Jenna Laine
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints running back
Suspension: Will miss first four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances
Ingram will head to his version of extended spring training in South Florida for the next four weeks, where he plans to work with longtime trainer Tony Villani the way he did throughout the offseason.
"I don't know what that's gonna be like or how it's gonna feel. I'm sure it's not gonna feel good," said Ingram, who vowed to "hit the ground full-speed running" when he returns in Week 5.
"I know I'm gonna be in top-notch shape when I get back. There's no other way around it. ... No time for delays or setbacks or anything like that," said Ingram, who is coming off of the best season of his career in 2017 -- 1,124 rushing yards, 416 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns as he and rookie Alvin Kamara became the first RB duo in NFL history to both surpass 1,500 yards from scrimmage in the same backfield.
"When I'm away, I'm gonna be grinding, I'm gonna be working, so when I come back, I don't miss a beat and I'm able to contribute and play fast right away," Ingram said. "I'm just doing everything I can right now to be able to help us have success."
The Saints might be able to absorb Ingram's absence on the field, since they do have another Pro Bowl running back in Kamara (though coach Sean Payton has insisted he doesn't plan to overwork Kamara in Ingram's absence, so backups Mike Gillislee and Boston Scott should also get touches). The Saints also have one of the NFL's best offensive lines -- and, oh by the way, a pretty good passing game led by Drew Brees that they could lean on a little more.
But Ingram will also be missed in the locker room.
"More than just being a running back, he's honestly like the soul of the team," Saints guard Larry Warford said of the popular and energetic eighth-year pro. "Like the way he carries himself, and his encouragement, and just his energy is hard to replicate." -- Mike Triplett