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The Jets will kick off this season without one of their pleasant surprises from a year ago.

The NFL announced Wednesday that veteran linebacker Brandon Copeland will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Copeland, who had a career-high five sacks and 35 tackles last year, is eligible to play in the final two preseason games, but won't be around the team again until Oct. 7 after the Jets' game in Philadelphia in Week 5.

Copeland, predominantly a special teams player in his career, opened eyes last year after showing that he can make a contribution on defense. He signed back with the Jets this offseason on a one-year, $1.75 million deal that included $500,000 in guarantees.

Copeland, who has practiced with the starters and backups this summer, has played on and off the ball in practices. The Jets have rotated a string of young outside linebackers with the hope of finding help at the position absent a bona fide edge pass rusher.

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