Kyle Nelson, the 49ers’ long snapper, has been suspended for 10 games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Nelson, whose ban is effective immediately, is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games following the 2018 season before resuming his suspension at the start of the 2019 regular season. There are four games left this season.
“I have been made aware by the NFL that I tested positive for a banned substance, and as a result will be suspended,” Nelson wrote in a statement. “I have been taking the same supplements for my entire time with the 49ers, while undergoing often simultaneous testing by the NFL with no issues. I do not deviate from my nutrition routine and I would never knowingly take a banned substance.
“I am currently having the supplements tested, and I hope to uncover the cause of the positive test. When the product is identified I fully intend to seek legal action against the manufacturer to protect against this happening to other players in the future.”
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Nelson, 32, might have played his last game with San Francisco. He has been the team’s long snapper since 2014 and is slated for free agency this spring.
The 49ers recently worked out long snappers Tanner Carew, Jon Condo, Lucas Gravelle, Colin Holba and Taybor Pepper, according to a report from Howard Balzer. That indicates the team knew the suspension was coming.
Wrote general manager John Lynch: “We are certainly disappointed to be losing Kyle for 10 games. Hopefully this serves as a reminder to all of our players that they need to take the proper steps to know exactly what they are putting in their bodies.”
Nelson began his NFL career with San Diego Chargers in 2012 before joining the Washington Redskins in 2013. He joined the 49ers the following season, replacing Kevin McDermott, who replaced longtime long snapper Brian Jennings.
Jennings appeared in all 208 regular-season games from 2000-12.