BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy after reportedly testing positive for marijuana, according to a tweet by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Branch will appeal the decision, according to Schefter. Branch is the third member of the New England Patriots to be suspended four games this year, joining Tom Brady (DeflateGate) and Rob Ninkovich (PEDs). Branch was previously suspended by the Patriots for a week in August for undisclosed violations related to the team.READ MORE: Victim In Lowell Homicide Identified As 22-Year-Old Dejah Jenkins-Minus
Speaking at a charity event Monday night, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Branch is a “great guy” but could not comment on the reported suspension.READ MORE: Patriots-Titans Week 12 Predictions
“He’s a great guy and I always buy him lemonades, so I call him Mr. Lemonade,” Kraft told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton. “He’s a great guy.”MORE NEWS: When Are Rudolph & Frosty On TV? Here's The 2021 CBS Holiday Special Schedule
A member of the Patriots since the 2014 season, Branch has played in 10 games in 2016, starting nine. He has recorded 19 tackles (14 assisted) with one sack on the season. Should Branch’s suspension be upheld, the Patriots will turn to second-year defensive tackle Malcom Brown and rookies Vincent Valentine and Woodrow Hamilton to pick up the slack in the middle of the defensive line.