Monday, October 20, 2008
Updated: October 21, 12:39 PM ET
Jones suspended three games for substance-abuse policy violation
ESPN.com news services
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones was suspended three games for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.
Jones was notified of the suspension by letter Monday. A source close to Jones told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the former Arkansas quarterback will likely appeal the suspension.
The NFL declined to comment because such issues are never announced until the appeals process, if it occurs, is over.
The suspension comes a week after Jones was accepted into a drug treatment program that could erase a felony cocaine charge against him.
Jones must participate in NFL-sponsored substance-abuse counseling and random drug testing through the end of the football season before returning to Fayetteville, Ark., to complete the intervention program.
Jones was arrested and charged with one count of cocaine possession on July 10, when a Fayetteville police officer saw him inside a parked car allegedly cutting up cocaine with a Foot Locker credit card. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Jones pleaded not guilty to the charge and had been scheduled to face trial two weeks ago, but prosecutor John Threet's office reached an agreement with Jones' attorney to send the case to drug court.
Jones, a first-round draft pick by the Jaguars in 2005, has been free on bond since his arrest.
Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.