Jets WR Jeremy Kerley has been suspended for the next four games for violating the NFL's PED policy.
The suspension will begin immediately, with Kerley eligible to return after the Jets' game on Dec. 10 against the Broncos.
"I was shocked by a positive test for Turinabol, as I have never knowingly taken any banned substances," Kerley said in a statement. "I am 5'9" tall and 180 pounds, and I have never used steroids in my life. I'm a good athlete but anyone can look at my body composition and tell that I'm not a steroid user. While I did not have enough time prior to the deadline to resolve this case, I fully intend to investigate this matter until I am able to figure out what caused the positive test, because I know that I have done nothing wrong. When I find out what substance was tainted, I will pursue all remedies at that time because this is not right. I have and will always be a clean player, and I look forward to returning to the Jets to play against the Saints next month."
Kerley signed a one-year, $775,000 deal with the Jets this offseason after spending the 2016 season with the 49ers.
In eight games this season, the 28-year-old has amassed 217 yards on 22 receptions with one touchdown.
Kerley wasn't a huge part of the Jets' passing game, and in recent weeks, his role has seemed to diminish. During the Jets' three-game losing streak, he only caught five passes for 85 yards -- and that included two catches for 61 yards three weeks ago against the Patriots.
The problem is that the Jets' receiving corps is dangerously thin, as it has been since the summer. Their late additions of Kerley and Jermaine Kearse were nice - two pros who could help mentor the young players and stabilize the offense in the meantime. And they did. But as tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned from his season-opening suspension and emerged as more of an option in the passing attack, Kerley's role as the slot receiver got smaller and smaller.
So while unfortunate, and certainly not a help to the Jets as they hope for a miracle second half, it's a loss they can sustain. Kearse and Robby Anderson were the Jets' two best receivers anyway. And now Kerley's role will likely fall to one of two rookies - ArDarius Stewart or Chad Hansen.
Stewart, their third-round pick, figures to be first in line. He's likely more suited to being a slot receiver anyway. But he hasn't done much this season - just four catches for 36 yards and only one two-yard catch in the last five games. He was actually inactive for the Falcons game, which was a bit of a surprise. Then again, Hansen, their fourth-round pick, was active for that game but is still looking for his first NFL catch.
One of them, though, will now be thrust into the spotlight with a chance to jumpstart his NFL career. And if they're as good as the Jets think they are, the loss of Kerley might not be felt much at all.