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Antonio Gates among 4 NFL players suspended to start 2015 season

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Packers linebacker Datone Jones, Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain, Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson and Chargers tight end Antonio Gates were all suspended by the NFL on Thursday.

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On Thursday, the NFL announced the suspensions of four players for the 2015 regular season, most of which are four-game suspensions. The biggest player to face suspension is Antonio Gates.

The San Diego Chargers tight end was suspended for four games for violating the league's Performance Enhancing Drug Policy. Gates was quick to take to the team's official website to post an apology for the suspension, which he is owning up to:

"In an effort to recover from a long season and although I was unaware at the time, I regret to confirm that I tested positive for a substance that is currently on the NFL banned substance list.  As an NFL veteran and team leader, I should have done my due diligence to ensure that what I was taking for recovery was within the NFL guidelines.  I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues, and I take full responsibility for my actions.

The Bengals will see the Chargers for a Week 2 matchup at Paul Brown Stadium, which Gates will now miss. Though, Gates doesn't have the greatest track record against the Bengals anyway:

The NFL also announced the suspensions of Green Bay Packers linebacker Datone Jones, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain and New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson.

Richardson and McClain were docked four games each for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Jones was given a one-game suspension for the same violation.