Seahawks 2nd year DE Bruce Irvin has been suspended four games for a violation of the NFL's performance enhancing drugs policy. Per a statement from Irvin, he took a substance that is banned by NFL without medical exemption, though as of right now the actual substance hasn't been disclosed officially. Per Dave Softy Mahler, it's adderall, but that's probably not something Irvin will confirm or deny.
"I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption. I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return."
Seattle starts the year on the road in Carolina, returns home to face the Niners and Jaguars, then heads to Houston to play the Texans. The Seahawks will now be without their two main defensive ends from 2012 in Chris Clemons (likely PUP) and Irvin. The off-season signings of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett are looking good right now, and Ty Powell may become a factor early on in the year. UDFA DE Kenneth Boatright is another player to keep an eye on early on, and it should be interesting to see if this changes the Hawks' plans at all with regards to some of the veteran defensive ends still out there, like Dwight Freeney and John Abraham. It may not - I'm guessing the team has known about this for a while - but it's something to watch.
The Seahawks' have had some major issues with PEDs over the past few years - John Moffitt, Brandon Browner, Allen Barbre (released), and Winston Guy have all also been busted and suspended.
If you're looking for a silver lining, it's that this opens up a roster spot for four weeks in which a young guy like Powell or Boatright (or others) can possibly prove himself and win a job in the rotation. Other than that, this sucks, but depth is always a major factor in the NFL. Seattle's will now be tested early.