There were character issues for the Seattle Seahawks to consider with Bruce Irvin when they selected the defensive end in the first round out of West Virginia in 2012.

Now, a problem has cropped up for the young player. The NFL announced today that Irvin will be suspended for the first four regular-season games in 2013 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension, without pay, will not prevent him from participating in the remainder of the club’s offseason program as well as training camp and preseason.

“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption,” Irvin said in the statement released by the club. “I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return.”

Irvin has eight sacks last season as a situational pass rusher and the Seahawks added to the mix as they signed Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in free agency, perhaps with the knowledge Irvin would miss some time.

According to Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times, Irvin is the sixth Seahawk to be suspended because of PED’s in the last two years, although it should be noted cornerback Richard Sherman had his suspension overturned on appeal. The other four are Allen Barbre, Brandon Browner, Winston Guy and John Moffitt.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune