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Patriots' Brandon Bolden suspended 4 games

New England will be down a running back for the next four games after Brandon Bolden violated the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL has suspended New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Bolden was banned for using performance enhancing drugs, according to WBZ Boston.

Bolden has been battling a knee injury suffered in Week 6 and has sat out the last two games for New England. His status was still in doubt for this week, until the NFL came down with the suspension.

The rookie out of Ole Miss has rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries in 2012. The Patriots will play Buffalo on Sunday, and Bolden padded his stats against the Bills in Week 4. In that game, he rushed for 137 yards on just 16 carries. He will have no such chance to do that this week.

Bolden will be eligible to return on Dec. 10 against the Houston Texans. The Patriots have won both games that Bolden has missed this year, and they have now boosted their record to 5-3 after a slow start.