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Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon suspended for first four games of 2017 season

Kenneth Dixon's suspension helps explain the team's expected signing of Danny Woodhead.

The Ravens had high hopes for Kenneth Dixon heading into the 2017 season, but things are not off to a good start. The NFL announced Thursday that Dixon will be suspended for the first four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Dixon, a fourth-round draft pick last season, had 88 carries for 382 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season.

"I want to apologize to the Ravens organization, my coaches, teammates and fans," Dixon said in a statement released by the team. "Being an NFL player is a privilege that comes with many responsibilities, including knowing the contents of any and all foods and supplements put in your body.

"I mistakenly took a substance without the proper NFL medical exemption, and while it was unintentional, I accept full responsibility for my actions and their consequences. I am truly sorry for the mistake I made and the distraction it causes. Moving forward, I remain committed to focusing on my offseason training, conditioning and game preparation so I can be an immediate impact player for the Ravens when my suspension is over."

Dixon was expected to challenge Terrance West (Towson University, Northwestern High) for the starting running back job. The Ravens also are poised to sign veteran Danny Woodhead and could select a running back in a talented draft class next month.

Now, Dixon will be forced to sit out the first four games. He'll be eligible to take part in the team's offseason workout program and play in the preseason. However, he'll head to the reserve/suspended list before the team's regular-season opener.

"While we are disappointed in the mistake Kenneth made, we appreciate the fact that he has assumed responsibility for his actions," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Kenneth is a good person, but he must learn from this and take the proper steps to rebuild trust within the organization, especially with his coaches and teammates."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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