By Karen Guregian | [email protected] | Boston Herald PUBLISHED: August 24, 2019 at 4:43 pm | UPDATED: August 24, 2019 at 5:04 pm Patriots tight end Lance Kendricks has been suspended for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse, the NFL released in a statement. Kendricks, who was injured Thursday night against Carolina, is eligible to participate in all remaining preseason practices and the team’s final preseason game. He will be eligible to return to the Patriots’ active roster on Monday, Sept. 9, following the team’s Week 1 game vs. Pittsburgh. According to reports, Kendricks was sentenced to probation last month for marijuana possession. The Patriots signed him after the sentencing, so they were aware that a suspension was possible. As it is, the Patriots will be without Benjamin Watson the first four games of the regular season thanks to his PED suspension. Kendricks, a two-way tight end, is in a battle to make the 53-man roster with Matt LaCosse, who didn’t play Thursday night due to an ankle injury, Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson, Andrew Beck and Eric Saubert. Like Watson, Kendricks won’t count against the opening 53-man roster while he serves the suspension.