Tennessee Titans: Taylor Lewan’s appeal denied, suspension official

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 13: Taylor Lewan /

Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan’s suspension has been made official by the NFL.

Taylor Lewan’s appeal of his four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs has been denied, and the Tennessee Titans’ left tackle’s suspension is now official.

The NFL made the announcement on Friday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Lewan will be suspended without pay for the first four weeks of the 2019 NFL season, and he’ll be eligible to return in Week 5 at home against the Buffalo Bills. Monday, September 30th is the official date Lewan can be added to the active roster.

Here’s the official statement from the NFL, per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online:

"“Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. Lewan is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the Titans’ active roster on Monday, Sept. 30, following the team’s Week 4 game at Atlanta.”"

This isn’t much of a surprise, of course. Appeals for these types of suspensions are rarely successful, making this announcement of his suspension just a formality.

The Titans will have to weather the storm with matchups against the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons.

Without Lewan, the Titans will start Dennis Kelly at left tackle for the first four games. Kelly was a standout offensive lineman for Tennessee in 2018, although that was at right tackle in place of Jack Conklin.

Regardless of how well Kelly played last season, you don’t simply replace a player like Lewan. He’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player and one of the best at his position in the league.

The Titans can only hope Kelly is able to bandage the wound until Lewan can return. Kelly finished as the No. 18 tackle in the NFL last year, so the Titans are in better shape than most teams would be in the same position.

Only time will tell just how badly this will affect the Titans upfront.