Patriots tight end Lance Kendricks has been suspended without pay for the first game of the season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse.
Kendricks' suspension leaves the Patriots further depleted at the position. Benjamin Watson will miss the first four games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancers and four-time All-Pro Rob Gronkowski retired after last season.
Kendricks is eligible to participate in all remaining preseason practices and the team's final preseason game. He will be eligible to return to the active roster on Sept. 9, following the team's Week 1 game against Pittsburgh.
Kendricks signed with the Patriots last month after he spent his first eight seasons with the Rams and Packers. He has played in 125 games, catching 241 passes for 2,505 yards and 19 touchdowns.