Patrick Peterson has been suspended for the first six games of the 2019 season after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, ESPN reported, citing unidentified league sources.
The circumstances around the suspension, such as the substance allegedly used and when the PEDs were used, have not been revealed.
The Cardinals cornerback originally was going to appeal the suspension, but decided to accept the punishment. The official ban is expected to be handed down next week.
Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, will miss the Cardinals’ season opener against the Lions, then will have to sit out games against the Ravens, Panthers, Seahawks, Bengals and Falcons.
The first game he will be allowed to return to the field is against the Giants on Oct. 20.
According to the report, the Cardinals had been aware of Peterson’s upcoming suspension and use the 33rd overall pick in last month’s draft to select cornerback Byron Murphy.
The relationship between the Cardinals and Peterson already had been tense, with Peterson reportedly unhappy with the team and requesting a trade all the way back in October. He previously said he “desperately” wanted out of Arizona, which finished the 2018 season with a league-worst 3-13 record.
He hasn’t reported to voluntary OTAs, which new head coach Kliff Kingsbury brushed off last month.
“It’s voluntary,” Kingsbury said last month. “I communicated with Patrick. We know where he’s at and we know what’s going on. Kind of a conversation to keep between ourselves. If he hadn’t communicated and we didn’t know what was going on, I think that would be a different matter. It is a voluntary camp. We know that Patrick wants to be here and wants to be a part of this team.”
Peterson has two years remaining on his contract and was scheduled to make $11 million this season before he was suspended. Due to missing six games, he will forfeit $3,882,352.