Armonty Bryant suspended for third time since start of 2016 season

Detroit Lions defensive end Armonty Bryant was suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the third time he has been suspended since the start of last season.

Bryant, then with the Cleveland Browns, was suspended for the first four games of last season for violating the NFL's policy against performance-enhancing drugs. The Browns released him when his suspension ended. The Lions claimed him on waivers in October.

He was suspended three games in November, also for violating the substance abuse policy.

In this most recent suspension, the NFL said Bryant will be eligible to return to the Lions' active roster on Monday, Oct. 2, and is eligible to participate in all of the team's preseason practices and games.

Bryant, 27, became a free agent after the season and re-signed with the Lions in March on a one-year, $855,000 contract with $40,000 guaranteed.

He had three sacks in five games for the Lions last season. Bryant injured his knee against the Saints in his first game back from suspension and Detroit placed him on injured reserve soon after.

Bryant's suspension could cause some issues for the franchise's pass rush -- an area the team did not address much in the offseason. Bryant was going to compete for snaps in a defensive end rotation with Kerry Hyder, Cornelius Washington and Anthony Zettel opposite Ezekiel Ansah.

It has already been a tough offseason for Bryant, who attended but did not participate in the majority of the team's open-to-the-media OTAs in May and the mandatory minicamp in June.

Bryant is the second Lions defensive lineman to be suspended by the NFL this offseason, joining tackle Khyri Thornton, who was suspended in June for six games for violating the substance abuse policy.

ESPN's Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.