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Frank Alexander suspended 10 games by NFL; Panthers already without Greg Hardy

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Alexander played all in 16 games as a rookie in 2012 and ranked third on the team with 18 quarterback pressures in addition to posting 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and four passes defensed.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers can't seem to catch a break right now. If it's not injury, it's suspensions that are knocking guys out of the lineup.

Already having to play without Greg Hardy, the Panthers will now be down another defensive end after Frank Alexander was suspended by 10 games by the NFL.

The league announced that Alexander was suspended for violating the substance abuse policy again. He’ll be eligible to return on Dec. 15, following their divisional game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With Hardy already being on the commissioner’s exempt list the defense has struggled, and Alexander, who was already suspended for the first four games this year for a previous drug violation, was supposed to help pick up the slack.

Selected by Carolina in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Alexander struggled at times last season following a strong rookie campaign.

A 6-4, the 270-pounder from Oklahoma played all in 16 games as a rookie and ranked third on the team with 18 quarterback pressures in addition to posting 25 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and four passes defensed.

Last season, Alexander played in 12 games and posted 12 tackles, one sack, five quarterback pressures and two passes defensed. He started three games in both 2012 and 2013.

All in all, when the Cincinnati Bengals host Carolina in Week 6, they'll be without two guys who combined for 29 sacks over the past two seasons, though 26 came from Hardy. This, combined with the team already losing two straight games in blowout fashion, is already looking like a lost season for the Panthers.