NFL hands Jake Knott four-game ban

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jake Knott has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2014 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

Knott, who had six tackles in 12 games last season, is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. Knott earned a roster spot as an undrafted rookie from Iowa State.

“We’re very disappointed to learn of his suspension,” the Eagles said in a statement. “We have spoken to Jake and he is fully aware of the mistake he made and owned it. The key for him, however, is to learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation for the 2014 season.”

Knott also issued a statement.

“Several weeks ago, I was shocked to learn that I tested positive for a stimulant that is banned by the NFL,” Knott said. “I have never knowingly ingested a banned substance, but like most players, I take nutritional supplements. Unfortunately, I now know that supplements are not regulated and thus may contain things that are not listed on the label. The NFL policy is very strict, so I have chosen to take immediate responsibility.

“I look forward to participating in team workouts, training camp and the pre-season with my team. During the suspension, I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to contribute immediately upon my return. I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, my family and fans for the impact of my mistake on the team.”

Knott played mostly on special teams as a rookie and made his debut in the season opener at Washington on Sept. 9, where he recovered an onside kick with 1:14 remaining to help seal a 33-27 Eagles victory.