It’s rare to have so many headlines from NFL in early July with free agency and the draft in the rear-view mirror and training camp looming later in the month, but that’s exactly what happened today with three suspensions to notable players for PED and substance abuse violations.
The news caught the eye of Arizona Cardinals’ second-year defensive back Tyrann Mathieu who experienced his own battles with substance abuse during his time at LSU that resulted in him being dismissed from the team prior to his junior season after being a Heisman finalist the year prior.
Mathieu took to his Twitter account to ask what was up with all the suspensions this afternoon after Dion Jordan, who was in the same draft class at Mathieu, was suspended four games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs and Rokevious Watkins and LaVon Brazill were suspended for four and 16 games, respectively.
What’s up with all of these performance enhancing suspensions?
I don’t have an answer to Mathieu’s question, but I do have a hope that Jordan simply took an over-the-counter substance that is on the banned list and carelessly didn’t check to see if it was legal or not. In the case of Watkins and Brazill, it is my hope that they can overcome their battles with substances and come back in a similar fashion to Mathieu.
Brazill is a repeat offender and could see his career come to a crashing halt if he can’t overcome this problem. Maybe it’s an addiction or maybe it’s just being a dope, but hopefully they get the help they need to avoid any further suspensions.
Mathieu was in line for a potential Rookie of the Year bid or even a spot on the Pro Bowl after a standout rookie season that ended prematurely after he tore his ACL vs. the St. Louis Rams late in the year. He is expected to miss the first month of the season as he recovers from the injury.