Ravens rookie tight end Nick Boyle has been suspended without pay for the final four regular-season games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The league announced the suspension Monday afternoon. Boyle's suspension begins immediately. He will return to the Ravens' active roster on Monday, Jan. 4, following the team's Week 17 game in Cincinnati.
Head Coach John Harbaugh did not give any specifics on Boyle's suspension, leaving those questions for Boyle to answer himself.
"I can tell you this: it wasn't like steroids or anything like that," Harbaugh said. "When I first heard about it, that was my first thought, 'Man, I hope it's not something like that.' It's nothing like that.
"He can confirm what it was. It's pretty common. It's what you read about all the time with guys. I don't think he realized that it was something he shouldn't be doing. Or if he did, he didn't think it through."
Harbaugh said he has spoken with Boyle about the suspension.
"He was telling me how stupid it was, and I agreed," Harbaugh said. "It was pretty dumb. Hopefully, he'll grow and learn from that.
"The shame of it is here's a guy that's playing so well. He's one of the gems of the draft class in terms of a fifth-round pick playing the way he does. He plays hard. He has been good in the pass game, good in the run game. He's smart, tough. He has a tremendous future. I told him that today."
Boyle, a fifth-round pick out of Delaware caught 18 passes for 153 yards and no touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder has also excelled as a blocker.
Boyle was the Ravens' only tight end for much of Sunday's game in Miami, which could leave the team in a bit of a bind moving forward. Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore left Sunday's game in Miami with a back injury and didn't return. Second-round draft pick Maxx Williams missed Sunday's game due to a concussion.
However, Harbaugh indicated that both Gillmore and Williams may return this Sunday against Seattle. The Ravens will look to add another tight end to replace Boyle on the 53-man roster. That could be Konrad Reuland, who is on the team's practice squad.
"I think Maxx and Crockett both have a really good chance to play," Harbaugh said. "We have a guy we're bringing in, so we'll see how that goes in the next day – who's familiar with our system, who can definitely play and block and do those things. We're not going to get away from those types of packages. Those are very important to us, and we'll stay in that stuff."