Miami Dolphins starting safety Reshad Jones was suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Friday.
In another four-game ban, New York Giants offensive lineman Eric Herman was suspended for a violation of the performance-enhancing drug policy.
Jones and Herman are eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.
Jones will be eligible to return to the Dolphins' active roster on Monday, Sept. 29 following the team's game against the Oakland Raiders.
Jones was a 16-game starter last season, finishing with 107 tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception that was ran back for a touchdown. He signed a four-year, $30 million contract last August.
The Dolphins are now down two important defenders due to suspension. Defensive end Dion Jordan received a four-game suspension on July 3 for a similar violation.
Herman will be eligible to return to the Giants' active roster on Friday, Sept. 26 following the team's game against the Washington Redskins.
Herman, who was seventh-round pick from Ohio last year, spent most of the season on the practice squad.
Herman is the second Giants player who has drawn a suspension this offseason. Cornerback Jayron Hosley drew a four-game ban in June for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
---Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who is coming off ankle surgery, was not expected to play in Friday night's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.
NFL.com reported through a source that the team does not expect the fourth-year quarterback to suit up which would not be a surprise.
Coach Ron Rivera said Thursday he wanted to make sure Newton could "protect himself."
Newton had surgery in March to tighten loose ligaments in his ankle.
---Troy Vincent, the NFL's new executive vice president of football operations, has identified 21 players as being "at-risk" for making illegal hits on the field and he has met with 16 of them so far.
According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Vincent said there were six players who have been suspended for hits over the last two years -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson, Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin, Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather, Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Antonio Smith, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Joe Mays and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Erik Walden -- and 15 others who were close to escalated discipline.
Vincent set up in-person meetings, traveling to visit the players. He will meet with the remaining five in the next couple of weeks.
Vincent said Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was first to meet with him. Suh was suspended in 2011 and has been subject to increased league scrutiny as a result of his style of play.
---Dallas Cowboys rookie safety Ahmad Dixon, who led the team with 11 tackles in Thursday's preseason loss to the San Diego Chargers, didn't finish the game because of a concussion.
Dixon, a seventh-round pick out of Baylor, was on the field with the first-team nickel defense. He suffered a concussion while making one of his tackles, according to ESPN.com, and will have to be cleared before he can return to action.
---Fans wanted the Houston Texans to draft Johnny Manziel with the No. 1 pick, but owner Bob McNair said the team knew "it would be a frenzy."
"Probably even if he didn't succeed at being an outstanding NFL quarterback for a couple years, the fans would have been frenzied," McNair told ESPN.com.
Some supporters for the Texans to draft the Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M even commissioned billboards around Houston urging the Texans to keep Manziel in the state.
Instead, the Texans took Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina with the first overall draft pick. Johnny Football was taken by the Cleveland Browns at No. 22.
---New England Patriots defensive tackle Chris Jones will miss the remainder of the preseason after suffering an injury to his left ankle in the preseason opener, ESPN.com reported.
According to the report, Jones will have more tests Friday on the ankle, but the initial diagnosis is that it is not a season-ending injury.