New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount has been suspended for the first game of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to multiple reports.
Blount, 28, was arrested in August 2014 with then-teammate running back LeVeon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The charges against him were later dropped after he completed 50 hours of community service.
No punishment has been announced for Bell, who was also charged at the time with driving under the influence.
Blount was cut by the Steelers after an incident in Week 11 in which he left the field before the end of a game against the Tennessee Titans, apparently unhappy with his number of carries. That was the same game Bell rushed for 204 yards in 33 carries.
In November, Blount signed a two-year deal with the Patriots, where he spent the 2013 season after he was traded by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Blount had three regular-season scores for the Patriots and rushed for three touchdowns in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. In the Super Bowl, he carried the ball 14 times for 40 yards.
With Blount out for the opener, the most experienced running back on New England's roster with 89 career carries is Jonas Gray, who scored four touchdowns in one game before going back to obscurity.
The Patriots lost running back Shane Vereen to the New York Giants in free agency and Stevan Ridley, also a free agent, is currently taking visits with other teams.