Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe is the latest to receive a four-game ban from the NFL for performance-enhancing substances.
While we all await the ruling on Deflategate, Roger Goodell continues to hand out suspensions around the league to everyone not named Tom Brady. The latest such ban was handed down to defensive end Derek Wolfe of the Denver Broncos, who will sit out the first four games of 2015 after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
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The 25-year-old Wolfe is entering his third year with the Broncos after being drafted 36th overall in 2012 out of Cincinnati. In three years with the team, Wolfe has started all 43 games he has played and has racked up 11.5 sacks, 63 tackles, and an approximate value of 20.
This latest suspension is another in a series of PED-related issues that the Broncos have faced in recent seasons. Both kicker Matt Prater and wide receiver Wes Welker were suspended prior to the 2014 season, although Welker’s was later lifted a few weeks later when the NFL re-worked their PED policies. Linebacker Von Miller was suspended for six games for not only breaking the policy, but also trying to cheat the test.
In this case, Wolfe fully accepts his punishment, knowing that it was a poor decision on his part not to verify that a medication he was taking was or was not on the banned substance list.
"“During the offseason I took a medication which is on the banned substance list. The medication is not a substance which would enhance my on-field performance in any way and I genuinely was unaware that it was prohibited, but players are responsible for what is in their bodies.” (h/t DenverBroncos.com)"
Losing Wolfe for the first four games of the NFL season certainly won’t help a Broncos defense which ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense and 24th against the pass. Furthermore, it will weaken the depth the Broncos already had on the defensive line, putting Vance Walker into a bigger role to start the season. Walker started just two game for the Chiefs in 2014, registering just two sacks and 13 tackles on the season.
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