Brandon Bolden suspended 4 games

Updated: November 9, 2012, 5:07 PM ET
ESPNBoston.com

New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden was suspended four games by the NFL on Friday for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The exact substance was not immediately known.

The suspension begins immediately, making Bolden eligible to return to the Patriots' active roster on Monday, Dec. 3, following the team's Week 13 game with the Miami Dolphins.

Bolden, who has missed each of the past two games due to a knee injury suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6, has been withheld from practice this week because of the knee issue as the team prepares for its Week 10 opponent, the Buffalo Bills.

The 22-year old Bolden was signed by the Patriots following the 2012 NFL draft as an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi. He finished his college career as the school's fourth all-time leading rusher (2,604 yards) and second in both total touchdowns (33) and rushing touchdowns (27).

He earned a spot on the Patriots' final 53-man roster after impressing in training camp, and has served as both a reserve running back and core special teams player. He set career-highs in both rushing attempts and yards against the Bills in Week 4, finishing with 16 carries for 137 yards and a touchdown.

On the season, Bolden has totaled 43 rushes for 234 yards and two touchdowns.

Bolden is the second Patriots players to be suspended for PEDs in the last three years. Brandon Spikes was suspended in December 2010.

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