The New York Giants’ Week 1 opponent will be missing a key piece on their defensive line, as Dante Fowler was suspended over a 2017 arrest.
MetLife Stadium will be undoubtedly packed to the brim on Sept. 9 as the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars take part in one of the most intriguing matchups on the NFL’s Week 1 calendar.
One key member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, however, won’t be in attendance.
Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. has been suspended one game for a violation of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, stemming from a 2017 arrest in St. Petersburg, Florida.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) July 20, 2018
Fowler’s arrest was for simple battery and mischief. He pleaded no contest in March and was sentenced to a year’s probation and 75 hours of community service.
The arrest has been part of a tough start to Fowler’s NFL career
. Chosen third overall in the 2015 draft out of Florida, he missed the entire 2015 season when he tore his ACL on the first day of minicamp. In May, Jacksonville declined his fifth-year option, making him a free agent at the end of the upcoming season.
Over his first two professional seasons, Fowler has tallied 53 tackles and 12 sacks.
Jacksonville made a surprising trek to not only the AFC South division title, but also the AFC Championship Game after earning their first playoff victories since the 2007 season. Their hot stretch was spurred by the strong defensive effort, particularly on the line, headlined by Pro Bowl ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue and tackle Malik Jackson. Dawuane Smoot will likely get a majority of Fowler’s lost reps.
Fowler will be allowed to partake in all training camp activities and preseason games. He will eligible to return for the Jaguars’ Week 2 contest, an AFC title game rematch with the New England Patriots.