Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill will miss the season opener after being suspended by the NFL on Friday for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Hill will miss the Seahawks’ game against San Francisco on Sept. 12 at Qwest Field. His suspension without pay also includes forfeiting an additional game check.
Hill can participate in all exhibition-season practices and games. His suspension begins Sept. 4, and he will be eligible to return to the team Sept. 13.
The suspension stems from Hill’s arrest in January 2009 in Georgia for misdemeanor marijuana possession. He received 12 months’ probation through a plea agreement that was settled earlier this spring.
Hill still is facing possible prosecution for his arrest in Issaquah in April for investigation of domestic violence.
Now entering his sixth NFL season, Hill pleaded not guilty, and he has a July 23 jury call in the case, with the prosecutor likely to ask for a trial date.
Since being drafted by the Seahawks in 2005, Hill has started 61 of his 67 career games. His best years came in his first two seasons, when he had 72 tackles and 71/2 sacks as a rookie and 92 tackles and two sacks the following year.
Last year, he was limited to just 11 games and 46 tackles because of a torn groin.
Hill signed a six-year extension with Seattle before the start of the 2009 season.
SEATTLE’S ELLISON HAS OCTOBER COURT DATE
Seahawks safety Kevin Ellison has a court date of Oct. 5 after pleading not guilty to drug possession in Southern California.
Ellison entered the plea Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Torrance. He remains free on $10,000 bail.
The 23-year-old former All-Pacific-10 Conference safety and University of Southern California defensive captain was released by the San Diego Chargers after he was pulled over for speeding by police in Redondo Beach May 24. He was arrested after officers allegedly found he had about 100 Vicodin pills but no prescription for the painkiller.
The Seahawks and former USC coach Pete Carroll then claimed Ellison off waivers.
Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly was suspended without pay for the upcoming season and perhaps beyond for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He is facing drug charges in Houston after his July 2008 arrest for possession of at least 200 grams of codeine. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. … Commissioner Roger Goodell will visit seven training camps during the first week of August. He will visit the Saints, Eagles, Ravens, Redskins, Browns, Steelers and Colts.