This Oct. 9, 2016 photo shows New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) warming up before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. The NFL has suspended Seferian-Jenkins without pay for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)(Photo: The Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL suspended New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Wednesday without pay for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Seferian-Jenkins was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Florida last September while he was a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The tight end was cut by the Buccaneers a few days later and claimed off waivers by the Jets.
He is the second Jets player to be suspended in the past eight days. Wide receiver Jalin Marshall was suspended last Tuesday for the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancers.
The Florida Highway Patrol said in a news release at the time of the incident that Seferian-Jenkins was driving between 75 and 80 mph on Interstate 275 when his vehicle cut in front of a trooper’s cruiser and weaved back and forth.
He was charged with DUI and violation of an ignition interlock device restriction from an arrest in Washington in 2013 while the tight end was playing at the University of Washington.
Seferian-Jenkins refused a breath test at the Hillsborough County Jail. A video posted by TMZ showed dash cam footage from the trooper’s cruiser of the arrest, during which Seferian-Jenkins repeatedly told the officer he had to use the bathroom.
Seferian-Jenkins pleaded no contest last month to a reduced charge of reckless driving. He had originally pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge.
Seferian-Jenkins is allowed to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games, per NFL rules.
The 2014 second-round draft pick finished with 13 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown in nine games with the Buccaneers and Jets last season.
He had 21 receptions in each of his first two NFL seasons and hasn’t lived up to his lofty draft status. Injuries have been an issue for Seferian-Jenkins, who dealt with ankle and hamstring ailments after joining New York.
Seferian-Jenkins started two games for the Jets and appears to be the front-runner to top the team’s depth chart at the position. New York also has Eric Tomlinson, Braedon Bowman and Jason Vander Laan on the roster.
NOTES: The Jets announced that they had free agent fullback Zach Line in for a visit. Line has spent the past four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
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