Jeremiah Ratliff suspended three games

Bears DL Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended for the first three games of the 2015 season due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

The Chicago Bears received bad news today when the NFL handed down a three-game suspension to defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

The suspension stems from a DUI that Ratliff incurred in January of 2013 while with the Dallas Cowboys. He will be allowed to participate in the remaining preseason contests as well as practices the next two weeks, but will not be able to practice or participate in team meetings once the suspension goes into effect.

Ratliff will return in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders but will miss contests against the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks, three of the top teams in the NFC North.

This is a big blow to Chicago’s defense, as Ratliff is by far the best interior pass rusher on the team. The four-time Pro Bowler is a team leader on defense and his absence, during arguably the toughest stretch on the schedule, is going to have a substantial impact on the club’s front seven.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fifth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.

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