Newly-acquired Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib currently is serving a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances. He has missed three games. If he hadn’t been traded by the Bucs, the fourth game would have been served in Week Nine, against the Raiders.
With the Pats off this week, some presume that Talib will lose his paycheck for the bye and then be ready to return next Sunday. But it may not be that simple.
Talib was suspended four games, not four weeks. As a result, there’s a good chance Talib will be first available not in Week 10 but in Week 11.
The Patriots deferred comment on Talib’s status to the NFL. The league has not yet responded to our inquiry.
UPDATE 5:34 p.m. ET: Per the league, Talib’s suspension extends through Week 10. It’s four games, not four weeks.