KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs are without a key player to start the season.
The NFL suspended cornerback Sean Smith without pay for the first three games of the regular season games for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy, the league announced Friday.
“This morning the NFL notified the club that cornerback Sean Smith will serve a three-game suspension effective Week 1 of the regular season,” the Chiefs said in a released statement. “We respect and support the league’s decision in this matter and will have no further comment on the situation.”
The three-game suspension stems from Smith’s arrest for DUI during the early morning hours of June 9, 2014. Police booked and cited Smith on charges of DUI, driving a vehicle in a careless manner and no insurance.
Smith entered pleas of guilty on March 9 to the charges of operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more and failure to present insurance, according to Kansas City Municipal Court documents.
Smith was given two years probation and paid fines totaling $914, according to court documents. The third charge for careless driving was categorized as “closed.”
Smith, who enters the final year of his contract, can participate in preseason practices and games before serving the three-game suspension.
He is eligible to return to the active roster on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The Chiefs have nine cornerbacks currently on the roster: Smith, Phillip Gaines, Jamell Fleming, Marcus Peters, Steven Nelson, Marcus Cooper, Aaron Hester, Deji Olatoye and Kevin Short.
Of the nine players, Gaines, Fleming and Cooper offer starting experience in the Chiefs’ defensive scheme, while safety Ron Parker can also play cornerback if needed.
The Chiefs used a first-round pick on Peters and a third-round pick on Nelson during May’s NFL Draft.
The Chiefs will be without Smith against the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers to start the season.