Sakamoto: 49ers OLB Aaron Lynch Slapped With 4-Game Suspension By NFL For Violating Substance Abuse Policy

The San Francisco 49ers received disappointing news this afternoon, as the NFL announced the suspension of OLB Aaron Lynch for the first four games of the 2016 season. The 49ers best pure pass-rusher since entering the NFL as a fifth-round pick (No. 150) in the 2014 NFL Draft, all signs pointed to Lynch having a breakout campaign in 2016.

However, while that still remains a possibility, the double-digit sack expectations for the upcoming season appears bleak. According to the report, Lynch was suspended due to violating the NFL’s policy on Substance Abuse.

Lynch will be eligible to return to the 49ers active roster on Monday, October 3, following the team’s October 2 game against the Dallas Cowboys. In addition, the suspension does not prohibit Lynch from continuing to partake in the team’s off-season program or preseason games which means he will be available for training camp.

With Lynch’s suspension that now opens the door for two young players to step up in his place with OLB Eli Harold and newly converted OLB Tank Carradine fighting for the starting role. Two players who were both drafted in the first three-rounds, I can’t help but think they will now be in the driver’s seat to be the next man-up. Who will win that job? I believe in the end, it will be Harold.

In 30 regular-season games, Lynch has recorded 61 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 8 tackles for loss.


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Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.