Rookie inside-linebacker Brandon Spikes has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The Boston Herald reported that the 23 year old was using a banned medication that he did not clarify with the NFL before use.

“The substance was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking,” Spikes said in a statement. “It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug. The integrity of the game is very important to me. I understand the league’s ruling and apologize to my teammates, the fans and the Patriots organization for this mistake.”

The rookie second round pick has recorded 61 total tackles and one interception through the first 12 games of the season. Spikes will not appeal the NFL ruling so he can return in time for the playoffs.

Spikes has not had the easiest of rookie seasons. First having the “sex tape scandal” and now the banned substance suspension, he will need to clean up his act when he returns.

I am disappointed with the news of Brandon’s suspension. I question his lack of judgment by not clarifying the substance with the NFL. I still like him as Jerod Mayo’s sidekick in the future, and I do not feel this affects his standing with the team. Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher will most likely be taking over his role in the defense for the remaining games.

In accordance to the suspension, the Patriots have signed defensive back Chevis Jackson. The third-round pick of the Falcons in 2008, also played with Jacksonville a before being cut Nov. 17.

Overall, I am hopeful Spikes uses better judgment when he returns. He has done very well as a down field run stopper this season. His time off will hopefully be used as a reflection period and result in a healthy player come January. How do you feel about the suspension? Post a comment below and share your opinion!