On Thursday night, La’el Collins started on the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line in their season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But it’s going to be a bit before the 28-year-old gets back on the field.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Collins was suspended for 5 games without pay on Friday after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy by not showing up for drug tests. That means he won’t be able to return until Oct. 18, after the Cowboys’ Week 6 matchup against the New England Patriots.

It’s a tough break for Dallas, as Collins missed all of the 2020 season due to a hip injury and his presence makes the team much stronger up front. But the Cowboys will have to find a way to plug the hole until he can rejoin the active roster later this season.

Collins is a former LSU offensive lineman, as the Baton Rouge native played for the Tigers from 2011-14. He was a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior in 2014. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cowboys the following year.

Since joining Dallas, Collins has played in 63 games and made 62 starts, which includes starting every game in both 2017 and 2018. He now won’t be able to achieve that feat in 2021.

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