Jerome Felton banned 3 games

Updated: August 26, 2013, 11:18 PM ET
By Ben Goessling | ESPN.com

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The NFL on Monday suspended Minnesota Vikings fullback Jerome Felton for three games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Felton, who reached the Pro Bowl last season after helping Adrian Peterson run for 2,097 yards, is eligible to return before the Vikings play in London on Sept. 29 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A source close to Felton told ESPN.com that the fullback's suspension stems from his arrest for drunken driving in June 2012, shortly after he had signed with the Vikings. Felton quickly apologized for his mistake after his arrest; the charge was later reduced to reckless driving.

The source said Felton had an appeal hearing three weeks ago.

"We respect the league's decision and Jerome understands it. Jerome is focused on returning to the playing field in Week 4 vs. Pittsburgh," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said in a statement.

Felton received a three-year, $7.5 million contract from the Vikings before this season and was already due to miss the rest of the preseason after undergoing an emergency appendectomy this month. Now, the Vikings will be without Felton longer than that.

In his place, Rhett Ellison could get more work as Peterson's escort once the regular season starts for the Vikings on Sept. 8 in Detroit.

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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