The NFL has handed Baltimore Ravens tight end Darren Waller a suspension spanning the entirety of the 2017 season without pay for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse, a league spokesperson announced Friday.
Per NFL.com, Waller is the second Baltimore tight end to be lost before training camp. The released veteran starter after he organized team activities, knocking him out for the entire season and threatening his career going forward.
Thedrafted Waller in the sixth round of the 2015 draft. Through two seasons, the 6-foot-7 wide receiver-turned-tight end has started in four of 18 games played. Waller has 12 career receptions on 23 targets for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
Fortunately, theentered OTAs with several options at tight end. , , , and still remain on the roster and will battle it out for the starting position come late July.
It's not the first time Waller has been in trouble for substance abuse.
Per NBC Sports, He was suspended the first four games of last season for a similar violation, but caught 10 passes in the next 12 games. He talked about his marijuana use after his last suspension, but there’s no announced cause for this violation.
“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said last fall, via the team’s official website. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.
“It’s knowing that it’s bigger than me around here. When I’m here, it’s not a problem. I work hard and am involved in everything and positive. But when I leave here, am I still taking that mindset with me wherever I go?”