Jets' Sheldon Richardson awaits NFL ruling on suspension

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- As Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson awaits word from the NFL on whether his four-game suspension will be increased, he continues to undergo team counseling with uncertainty looming over him.

"I don't know what to expect," Richardson said of the possibility commissioner Roger Goodell will add to his suspension. "I can go from four games to however long he wants it to be, so [it's] pretty tough.

"As long as I get the day of when I can actually return, then I can actually start moving forward. But until then, it will just be a cloud over my head."

Richardson, 24, will miss the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. That suspension could be increased by the NFL if it rules he violated the league's conduct policy.

Richardson was charged with resisting arrest after a July 14 incident in which, according to police, he was engaged in a high-speed road race near St. Louis. Authorities said they discovered a fully loaded semi-automatic weapon in the 2014 Bentley and said there was "a very strong odor of burned marijuana" coming from the vehicle.

Richardson's arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 31 outside of St. Louis. He has been working mostly with backups in training camp since he will miss the start of the season.

"Most definitely a humbling experience," said Richardson, the NFL's defensive rookie of the year in 2013 and a Pro Bowler last year. "Just got to learn from it. I consider myself a humble guy off camera, but other than that, it is what it is."

Richardson, who had eight sacks last season, said he initially resisted the idea of counseling, which the team wanted him to undergo. But his parents nudged him to go through with it, and he said he has found it "somewhat" helpful.

"Just learning things about myself, dealing with life," Richardson said of counseling. "It would have been hard for me to deal with talking to someone outside of my circle. Little things like that."

Richardson, though, says he hasn't had to make any other major life changes since last month's run-in with the law.

"Other than doing a bad mistake on one night, not really," Richardson said. "That is the only thing I'd change. I am pretty quiet off the field, keep to myself, stay in my room really, play video games, regular old person, except I just happen to be in the NFL."

Richardson said during his suspension he plans to attend team meetings at the facility and try to stay in shape as much as he can. He will not be able to practice or play with the team during his suspension.

"Yeah, I will be prepared," Richardson said. "I still know the playbook.

"I'll be right here," he said. "I am allowed in the facility. I am not allowed on the practice field when they are playing but workout by myself and go to meetings."