The team on Friday announced that starting right tackle Donald Stephenson has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the third-year blocker was banned for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.
"Obviously losing Donald is disappointing, but we are in full compliance with the league's policy," the team wrote on the its official website. "We will have no further comment on the situation."
Losing Stephenson is a rugged blow for a team that already waved farewell to tackle Branden Albert and guards Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz during the offseason.
The pressure now falls on left guard Jeff Allen and rookie bookend Eric Fisher to hold down the fort. The untested Ryan Harris and Zach Fulton are candidates to fill in for Stephenson during a four-game slate that includes the Titans, Broncos, Dolphins and Patriots.
The depleted line is one reason we predicted semi-doom for the Chiefs on the latest Around The League Podcast.