Packers linebacker Erik Walden was arrested last November on charges related to a dispute with his girlfriend and the league has decided to punish him for that violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.
Walden will be suspended for the Packers’ opening game of the season, the NFL announced on Tuesday. Walden pleaded no contest to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges and avoided jail time, but he couldn’t avoid additional punishment from the NFL.
Walden was a free agent after last season, although his market was likely less than it might have been if not for the potential suspension looming over his head. He wound up re-signing with the Packers, although it seems he will be losing his starting job at outside linebacker to first-round pick Nick Perry. Walden started 15 games last season, finishing with 60 tackles and three sacks but the Packers are looking for more production at that spot out of Perry this time around.
At the moment, Walden is the third member of the Packers defense to face a suspension in the opening weekend of the season. Defensive end Mike Neal has been suspended four games by the league and defensive end Anthony Hargrove was suspended for eight games for his involvement in the Saints’ bounty program. Hargrove is still fighting that suspension, however.