CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The NFL has announced Panthers backup defensive end Frank Alexander has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2014 regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The league announced Friday Alexander will be eligible to return to the active roster on Sept. 29, one day after Carolina visits the Baltimore Ravens.
Under NFL rules Alexander is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
Alexander, a fourth-round draft pick in 2012, played in 12 games and had 15 tackles and one sack last season. He played in 16 games a rookie with 2.5 sacks.