NEW YORK: Free agent safety T.J. McDonald was issued an eight-game suspension to start the 2017 season Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The ban comes from a May arrest after McDonald crashed into a parked car. He received a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of drugs. McDonald pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced to 36 months on probation, a $390 fine, a mandatory three-month alcohol program, 200 hours of community services and 18 narcotic anonymous classes. As a starter in all 16 games last season for the Los Angeles Rams, McDonald made 64 tackles and intercepted two passes. The suspension is a major setback in his bid for a new NFL contract.