SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ San Francisco 49ers running back Travis Jervey was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating its policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

Jervey cannot return to the 49ers until Nov. 22, the day after the team plays the St. Louis Rams. He is expected to be out four weeks anyway, while recovering from ankle surgery.

The NFL did not specify how Jervey had violated the policy. The 49ers had no comment on the matter.

Jervey, signed in the offseason as a free agent from the Green Bay Packers, has played only sparingly with the 49ers this season because of complications from a broken left ankle 10 months ago.

The five-year NFL veteran has been inactive for four games because of problems with the ankle.

This past week Jervey underwent surgery to remove calcium deposits where the break had occurred and was not expected to play for at least four weeks.