The NFL came out swinging on Thursday, as the league announced that four players would be getting suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

It’s a classic Friday news dump on a Thursday (most likely because we’re coming up on the Fourth of July weekend).

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain and Chargers tight end Antonio Gates were all suspended for the first four games of the season. The Chargers immediately issued a statement on Gates’ suspension, saying that they stand behind their all-time great player.

Packers defensive end Datone Jones was also suspended for one game this season.

One has to hand it to the NFL, they really know how to time the announcement of these suspensions. Right before the July 4th holiday? The only surprising thing about this news is that Roger Goodell didn’t sneak in a decision on Tom Brady’s appeal as well.

[Adam Schefter]