NEW YORK (AP) - New York Jets running back Mike Goodson was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Goodson, signed as a free agent in the offseason, rejoined the team Monday after being away all of training camp for personal reasons that the Jets declined to detail. He was placed on the team's active/non-football injury/illness list.
``I've been away from the team to take care of some important personal things,'' Goodson said in a statement issued by the Jets. ``The time was helpful to me and now that I am back, I am going to do everything I can to contribute to the team.''
Goodson also thanked the organization for its support, adding ``I'm thankful to be back with my teammates.''
The NFL said in a statement announcing the suspension that Goodson will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Sept. 30, a day after the team's game against the Tennessee Titans.
The Jets announced that Goodson will be permitted to attend meetings and work out on his own at the team's practice facility during his suspension, but won't be able to practice or play.
``While we welcome Mike back to the organization,'' the Jets said in a statement, ``we have had direct conversations to make our expectations very clear as we work together to help him move forward in a positive manner, both on and off the field.''
Goodson, who played last season with Oakland, was arrested in May with friend Garant Evans after they were found in a car stopped on Interstate 80 in New Jersey. The men were charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and weapons offenses. Police said they found a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a hollow-point bullet in the vehicle.
The 25-year-old Goodson pleaded not guilty and took part in some preseason practices with the Jets, who signed him to a three-year, $6.9 million deal.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org