The 2018 NFL season is just a few months away. While we've been occupied with the combine and the NFL draft in recent months, a significant storyline has emerged heading into the upcoming season - suspensions.
In recent news, New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram was suspended for the first four games of the season due to performance enhancing drugs.
He's not alone. Mark Sanchez, and a few other high-profile NFL players have been suspended for the beginning of the season.
Here are 9 current players (and four free agents) that will be forced to sit out for the beginning of the season.
Mark Ingram, RB - New Orleans Saints
Mark Ingram was suspended for violating the league's performance enhancing drugs policy and will miss the first four games of the 2018 season. It's bad news for Ingram, who is in a contract year, especially when Alvin Kamara emerged as a legitimate threat to take the former Alabama star's job.
Ingram will lose over $1 million during his suspension.
Akeem Ayers, LB - Free Agent
Veteran linebacker Akeem Ayers was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season, although the reason for his suspension is still unknown. Ayers played for the New York Giants in 2017, but didn't fit into the team's plans for the upcoming season. New York traded for Alec Ogletree, who will fit into Ayers' role from the 2017 season.
A four-game suspension to begin the year will likely keep Ayers off a team for the foreseeable future.
Cayleb Jones, WR - Minnesota Vikings
Jones, the brother of Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones, was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. He spent the 2017 season on the Vikings' practice squad and will be forced for forfeit $134,117 in salary for the 2018 season as the result of his suspension.
Vadal Alexander, OL - Oakland Raiders
Backup offensive lineman Vadal Alexander was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances the team announced earlier this month.
Alexander appeared in 15 games for the Raiders in 2017, starting four of the games. As a result of the suspension, he'll be forced to forfeit over $150,000. The Raiders drafted former UCLA offensive lineman Kolton Miller, who will be in the running to start at either right or left tackle.
Kentrell Brothers, LB - Minnesota Vikings
Special teams star Kentrell Brothers will miss the first four games of the Vikings' season after violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Brothers has appeared in 26 games for Minnesota over the past two seasons, but took just eight defensive snaps for the Vikings in 2017.
He'll be allowed to appear in all offseason and preseason activities and games.
Kent Taylor, TE - Free Agent
Kent Taylor was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. As a result, the Carolina Panthers decided to waive Taylor ahead of the season.
Tayloer signed with the Panthers' practice squad in December, but with the suspension in play, the team decided to move on from the former UTEP star.
Mark Sanchez, QB - Free Agent
Mark Sanchez hasn't played a snap in the NFL since the 2016 season with the Dallas Cowboys, but he still made headlines earlier this year when it was announced he had been suspended for the first four games of the season.
Sanchez spent the 2017 season as the third-string quarterback fro the Chicago Bears behind rookie Mitchell Trubisky and Mike Glennon.
Jalen Collins, CB - Free Agent
Jalen Collins was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft. In his short career, Collins has been suspended four times, and most recently, was given a 10-game suspension for the 2018 season, though a reason for the suspension isn't known at this time.
Just last year, Collins was handed another 10-game suspension for a failed drug test. The former LSU star was waived by the Atlanta Falcons after his 10-game suspension during the 2017 season.
Thomas Davis, LB - Carolina Panthers
Star linebacker Thomas Davis was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the league's PED policy, news that hit Davis especially hard. He issued a lengthy apology, and vowed to repair his image.
Davis made it known that 2018 is likely his last season, though after serving a four-game suspension, he might opt for more playing time next year as well. The Panthers star will miss out on over $1 million from his 2018 contract.
Josh Mauro, DT - New York Giants
Former Stanford star Josh Mauro will sit out the first four games of the 2018 season after violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances, like most of those that came before him in this piece.
Mauro found success with the Arizona Cardinals briefly before leaving after the introduction of the new coaching staff. Now re-united with his former defensive coordinator in New York, Mauro will miss the first four games of the season.
Corey Liuget, DT - Los Angeles Chargers
Liuget will suffer the biggest hit to his wallet among the suspended NFL players this year. After getting suspended for the first four games of the season, the former first round pick will forfeit more than $2 million of his salary.
Liuget suffered his least-impactful season last year since his rookie season in 2011.
Josh Huff, WR - New Orleans Saints
Josh Huff was released by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 following an arrest in which he had marijuana and a firearm present in his vehicle. He went on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and most recently was signed by the New Orleans Saints.
A year and a half after his arrest, Huff has finally been suspended as a result of that investigation. Huff will miss the first two games of the 2018 season.
Vontaze Burfict, LB - Cincinnati Bengals
One of the most controversial figures in the NFL, Vontaze Burfict has been suspended numerous times, for illegal hits and, most-recently, for a PED violation. Burfict will miss the first four games of the season as a result of that violation, and will lose nearly $2 million in salary.
Former Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is also suspended for the first ten games of the 2018 season after violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances for the second time.
There you have it, every player under suspension for the 2018 season.