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Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman suspended 10 games for PED violation

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CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Jerrell Freeman #50 of the Chicago Bears looks over the offense against the Atlanta Falcons during the season opening game at Soldier Field on September 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Falcons defeated the Bears 23-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – An injury in Week 1 has kept him out of the Bears lineup for the bulk of the 2017 season. Now the NFL is about to do the same.

On Monday, the league announced that linebacker Jerrell Freeman has been suspended ten games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. The stiffer penalty comes after the middle linebacker was suspended four games for the same violation during the 2016 season.

According to a release from the Bears, Freeman will begin serving the suspension immediately as he remains on Injured Reserve. If that is the case, barring a Bears’ appearance in the playoffs, Freeman wouldn’t be eligible to play for the Bears again until Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season.

After the announcement, Freeman had this statement on Twitter.

Joining the Bears in March of 2016 after four seasons with the Colts, Freeman immediately made an impact on the Bears when he was on the field. Despite the four-game suspension midseason, he led the Bears with 110 tackles and was expected to anchor an improved defense in 2017.

During a ten tackle performance in the opener against the Falcons, Freeman injured his pectoral and was placed on Injured Reserve. Surgery was needed to repair the tear which would likely have kept him out for the season, but the NFL has now taken care of that.