Chargers' Max Tuerk attributes four-game suspension to supplements

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Chargers announced on Tuesday that the NFL has suspended center Max Tuerk for the first four games of the regular season without pay for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Tuerk is the second Charger who will have to miss time this season for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi still has to serve one game on his four-game suspension that was levied last season.

Tuerk, 23, can return to the team's active roster on Monday, Oct. 2 after the Chargers' game a day earlier against the Philadelphia Eagles. The USC product is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.

"This offseason, I made the mistake of taking over-the-counter supplements," Tuerk said in a prepared statement issued by the team. "In doing so, I opened myself up to the possibility of consuming a tainted supplement -- something that ultimately led to a positive test for a banned substance.

"I accept responsibility for my actions and understand the NFL's policy is very clear on this matter. This is a very hard way to learn a lesson, and I will never make this mistake again."

Drafted in the third round last year as the possible center of the future for the Chargers, Tuerk was a healthy scratch for all 16 games in 2016 coming off a right knee injury that cut short his final season at USC.

Tuerk struggled with keeping his weight up in the past. He said he played at about 290 pound last season but hoped to be around 300 pounds when the season started.

Tuerk was part of the competition for the starting center job at the start of training camp and had been working there with the second unit before suffering a finger injury against the New Orleans Saints over the weekend.

Tuerk practiced with the Chargers on Tuesday.

"We respect and support the league's decision on this matter," the Chargers said in a prepared statement. "While disappointed, we appreciate that Max has accepted responsibility and are confident that he understands what is expected from him moving forward."