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Former Penn football player Brandon Copeland was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season. (Photo from the New York Jets)

On Wednesday, former Penn football player and current New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland was suspended for the first four games of the upcoming NFL season after violating the League's policy on using performance-enhancing substances.

"Copeland is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the Jets’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 7, following the team’s Week 5 game at Philadelphia," the NFL wrote in a statement.

Later in the day, Copeland responded to the suspension in an Instagram post, claiming that his violation was unintentional. 

View this post on Instagram

God's Plan > My Plan I've spent the better part of 28 years building and working on my legacy. This offseason, I began taking a supplement AFTER multiple verifications that it was safe for me to use. Unfortunately, this supplement was contaminated with a banned substance - NOT on its label. Regardless of the reason, League policy says I am responsible for what is in my body. I've had a roller coaster ride of a career and all of my previous test results have been negative. I trust that the ppl who know my heart understand that I would never intentionally take a banned substance. To be quite honest, Im very fond of hard work and wouldn't want success with the artificial help. Having to be away from my dream for something that was beyond my control will be tough for me however in similar fashion to how I handle other obstacles in my life I will approach this one with a "WATCH WHAT I DO WITH THIS OPPORTUNITY" mentality because my life dreams/missions still continue. Although I can NEVER make up for time loss on the field and away from my teammates who have become family, my team and I will be taking the necessary steps to rectify this situation to the fullest extent of the law. Understanding that God does not make mistakes, I will take this opportunity to thank Him for my blessings - the good, the bad and of course, the ugly. This is simply a chapter in my journey that is still being written. And as always, never let the obstacle become bigger than the OPPORTUNITY ??

A post shared by Brandon Copeland (@bcope51) on

"I spent the better part of 28 years building and working on my legacy," Copeland wrote. "This offseason, I began taking a supplement AFTER multiple verifications that it was safe for me to use. Unfortunately, this supplement was contaminated with a banned substance - NOT on its label. Regardless of the reason, League policy says I am responsible for what is in my body."

After his standout career on the gridiron with the Quakers, including captaining the 2012 team to an Ivy League title, the 2013 Wharton graduate returned to his alma mater earlier this year to co-teach an Urban Studies class with Dr. Brian Peterson. Titled "Inequity and Empowerment: Urban Financial Literacy," the seminar was widely praised by students.

“[Copeland is] an amazing teacher; he’s very comfortable with talking to us,” then-Wharton freshman Jadah Daley said. “He wants us to share our stories and for us to be active participants in the class."

Before being signed by the Jets in March 2018, Copeland's early career included brief stints in the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans organizations, along with a stretch of play in the Arena Football League with the Orlando Predators.

His return to the NFL saw him play all 16 games for the Detroit Lions in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. A torn pectoral kept the Sykesville, Md. native off the field in 2017, but he saw time in all of the Jets' contests last year, picking up 34 tackles and five sacks.

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