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Kawaan Baker’s chances of making the 53-man roster this season just got a lot slimmer.
The New Orleans Saints wide receiver was handed a six-game suspension without pay on Tuesday for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy, the team said in a statement.
The second-year wideout will be eligible to return on Oct. 17, following the Saints’ Week 6 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
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The suspension doesn’t bode well for Baker, who was already facing a stacked wide receivers pool after the offseason additions of five-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry and first-round draft pick Chris Olave.
Veteran Michael Thomasthe 2019 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, is also back and healthy after missing most of the 2021 season with an ankle injury.
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The Saints also brought back 2018 third-round pick Tre’Quan Smith, who re-signed with the team in March on a two-year, $6 million contract.
Baker, who played in college for South Alabama, was New Orleans’ seventh-round draft choice in 2021. He spent the bulk of his first NFL campaign on the Saints’ practice squad. Baker played in late-season games against Miami and Carolina, making one tackle on special teams. He did not play any offensive snaps.
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It was not immediately clear if Baker would appeal the suspension.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.