Chargers Center Max Tuerk (62) during the NFL Pre-Season football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Chargers in September 2016 at Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, California. (Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire)

Los Angeles Chargers reserve center Max Tuerk has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Tuesday.

“This offseason, I made the mistake of taking over-the-counter supplements,” Tuerk said. “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.”

The Chargers issued a statement saying they respect and support the league’s decision on this matter.

“While disappointed, we appreciate that Max has accepted responsibility and are confident that he understands what is expected from him moving forward,” the statement said.

Tuerk will be eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to the Chargers’ active roster on Oct. 2, one day after the team’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 6-foot-5, 298-pound Tuerk was chosen by the Chargers in third round of the 2016 NFL draft out of USC, the 66th overall selection. He was inactive for all 16 of the team’s games in 2016.

Tuerk played in both preseason games this season as a reserve.

The Chargers also announced on Tuesday they had signed undrafted rookie free agent defensive end Whitney Richardson from Tennessee’s Lane College and waived defensive end Christopher Landrum.

Because the Chargers waived Landrum with an injury designation, he could be placed on the team’s injured reserve list should he clear waivers as is expected.

— City News Service

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