Seattle is losing an important piece of its defensive front for the stretch run.
Defensive tackle Al Woods has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed of the situation. The team confirmed the suspension and announced it would begin immediately and will include the final two games of the regular season and any playoff games.
"There's not much we can say about it," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Friday. "He's been a great kid in our program."
The 32-year-old Woods started five games for the Seahawks in 2019, filling a massive void left behind by the six-game suspension of usual starter Jarran Reed, who was banned for a violation of the league's personal conduct policy. Woods has recorded 32 tackles and one sack while filling an important role early in the season for the Seahawks, who got off to a 5-2 start in Reed's absence.
Woods has since filled a rotational role, helping eat up space and take on multiple blockers for the league's 15th-ranked rushing defense. Seattle signed rookie defensive tackle Brian Mone off the practice squad as a corresponding roster move, but the Seahawks will have to rely more on the efforts of starting nose tackle Poona Ford and reserve Quinton Jefferson in the final two weeks of the season, plus however many games they'll be fortunate enough to play in the postseason.