Backup San Francisco 49ers DE Jordan Willis suspended six games for PED policy violation

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers defensive end Jordan Willis has been suspended for the first six games of the 2021 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

According to a statement from an NFL spokesperson, Willis will be able to participate in all offseason and preseason practices as well as the 49ers’ three exhibition games. Willis is eligible to return to the 49ers’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 25, after the team’s Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The suspension comes after Willis re-signed with the 49ers on March 25. That deal was for one year with a base salary of $990,000. San Francisco initially acquired Willis in a trade with the New York Jets on Oct. 27 of last year, sending a sixth-round choice to New York in exchange for Willis and a seventh-round pick.

Willis appeared in seven games for the 49ers, posting 13 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Heading into training camp, he is expected to compete for a spot on the 49ers’ depth chart as an edge rusher.

That group also includes Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Samson Ebukam, Dee Ford, Arden Key and Alex Barrett. With Willis slated to miss six games and Bosa (ACL) and Ford (back) working back from injury, the 49ers are a little light on depth at the position, which could mean another addition will be needed as the season nears.