While commissioner Roger Goodell might insist otherwise, the NFL is a league with a ton of issues. One so happens to be its players’ relationship to pain and how players choose to treat that pain. Some have turned to cannabis, calling it a “Godsend,” but due to the league’s strict drug policies, it’s pushed some of its brightest stars out of the league.
Yet another player will face possible marijuana suspension, as Cleveland Browns player T.Y. McGill was charged with possession this past weekend. The league has yet to issue its own discipline over McGill’s charge, but he’s far from the only player on the outs this season because of cannabis. Here are all the players suspended this season due to marijuana.
Randy Gregory—Dallas Cowboys
The former Nebraska standout reportedly failed a seventh drug test administered by the league earlier this year, according to TMZ. He already will miss the entire 2017 season due to a previous drug test. Sources say Gregory has “drifted from football” and ignoring NFL officials who have reached out to him.
Unless the NFL changes its drug policy, it appears Gregory might be on the outs. Gregory’s suspension, it’s worth mentioning, helps explain why Cowboys owner Jerry Jones urged other NFL owners to allow players to consume marijuana for pain earlier this year.
Martavis Bryant—Pittsburgh Steelers
The premiere receiver missed all of last year, suspended without pay, due to positive weed tests. While it seemed he might be suspended this year, and reportedly was on a short leash, he received a full reinstatement this week.
Darren Waller—Baltimore Ravens
Darren Waller has never hid his relationship to marijuana. Though the bruising tight end was suspended for four games last season for a positive marijuana test, he just received a year-long suspension for another positive test this season.
Following his last suspension, he was honest about his usage, saying, “There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”
“It’s knowing that it’s bigger than me around here. When I’m here, it’s not a problem. I work hard and am involved in everything and positive. But when I leave here, am I still taking that mindset with me wherever I go?”
Justin Gilbert—Free Agent
Justin Gilbert was hit with a year-long suspension this summer for marijuana after failing two tests within two months, but cannabis wasn’t his only problem. A former Oklahoma State star, Gilbert was drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Browns back in 2014. And while the NFL drug policy remains draconian, it’s tough when a player won’t commit to his job of playing football. He reportedly missed meetings, oversleeping, and once showed up to a 1 p.m. game an hour before kickoff.
If you don't like football, it doesn't matter how talented you are, your star will burn out quick. https://t.co/r7PfDSTljL
— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) February 6, 2017
As usual, cannabis isn’t the problem. Gilbert just doesn’t seem to care about football all that much.
Karlos Williams, Sr.—Free Agent
Sometimes, a player’s relationship with weed costs them a chance at playing in the NFL. Unfortunately that appears to be the case with former Florida State standout running back Karlos Williams, who isn’t currently signed to a team and suspended for at least one year from the league.
He last played for the Bills, where he received a four-game suspension for testing positive. He later showed up out of shape to training camp, causing Buffalo to drop him. Pittsburgh later took a flier on Williams, but they released him back in March.
Seantrel Henderson—Buffalo Bills
Last year, Henderson received a 10-game suspension for his second positive marijuana test. But Henderson’s case differs from everyone on this list. Henderson has been diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Crohn’s disease and medical marijuana is a common treatment for the condition. Henderson did just that.
“There is zero allowable medical exemption for this per the NFL; however, there clearly should be,” Henderson’s agent told NFL.com.
Henderson had two surgeries to remove parts of his intestines to manage the painful disease. While he will be suspended the first five games this year, reports indicate he gained a stunning 60 pounds this offseason. He weighs 340 pounds now, and he’ll start at tackle when he returns.