New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden was hit with a four-game suspension without pay Friday for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Bolden will begin serving his punishment immediately. He'll be eligible to return to the Patriots' active roster after their Dec. 2 game against Miami.
The undrafted rookie from Mississippi wasn't expected to play this week because of a knee injury.
His absence will force the Patriots to elevate Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead to be the backups behind starter Stevan Ridley.
Bolden has rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries in six games this season, including 137 yards against Buffalo in week four.