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Raiders OL Vadal Alexander suspended four games for PEDs

Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Vadal Alexander has been suspended suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, the Raiders announced on their official site.

Alexander, 24, was the Raiders’ seventh-round pick in 2016. He’s played 24 games while making nine starts in his first two years in Oakland, splitting time between right tackle and guard.

Alexander can still practice with the team this offseason and play in the preseason before starting his suspension. He will be eligible to return to the roster on Oct. 1, just after their Sept. 30 game against the Browns.

It’s the second piece of bad news the Raiders have received about a member of their offensive line over the last few days. Starting left tackle Donald Penn is currently being investigated for possible domestic violence. If Penn gets suspended as well, the Raiders may find themselves short of bodies on the offensive line for the first few weeks of the season.

Although, the Raiders did just draft two offensive tackles fairly early during the recently concluded draft: Kolton Miller (15th overall) and Brandon Parker (3rd round). The team also signed experienced veteran Breno Giacomini in free agency, presumably to take over as their starting right tackle after they released Marshall Newhouse earlier in the offseason.

Even prior to his suspension, Alexander was already likely on the Raiders’ roster bubble, and missing the first quarter of the season won’t help his chances. And if both Miller and Parker perform well during camp, Alexander’s place in the Raiders roster could be put in even more jeopardy.