Chris Herndon
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Second-year tight end Chris Herndon will miss the first four games of the New York Jets season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The New York Jets will have to navigate through the first four games of the 2019 season without one of their most potent offensive weapons.

New York announced on Friday that tight end Chris Herndon will be suspended for that length for “for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse.

A statement from a league spokesperson has said that Herndon will be eligible to partake in the team’s upcoming training camp practices and their quartet of exhibition games. He can return to the active roster in time for the Jets’ home game against Dallas on Oct. 13.

The suspension likely rises from Herndon’s June 2018 arrest for driving while intoxicated. According to police reports obtained by Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media, Herndon crashed his SUV into another in Rockaway Township, NJ. He failed a sobriety test and had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14 percent, well above New Jersey’s legal limit (below 0.08 percent). Witnesses said Herndon may well have been going over 100 miles per hour at the time of the incident.

Herndon briefly addressed the situation at an organized team activity days later.

“This is not who I am,” he said, per Darryl Slater, also of NJ Advance Media. “It’s still a pending legal matter, so it’s not up to me to have a conversation about it right now.”

Herndon later pled guilty to DWI.

The Jets took Herndon in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Miami (FL). He quickly became a favorite target of fellow Sam Darnold, scoring a touchdown in three consecutive games in October. Herndon would finish the 2018 season with 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns. All three marks were good for second on the team.

Eric Tomlinson is the only other Jets tight end returning from last season, after re-signing with the team in March. Other options include 2019’s fourth-round pick Trevon Wesco and veteran Daniel Brown. The latter was signed after earning 35 receptions for 317 yards over five previous seasons in Baltimore and Chicago.

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