Wes Welker, 2 others reinstated under new NFL drug policy, no word on Brandon Browner, Brian Tyms
|09.17.14 at 10:55 am ET|
Wes Welker can now begin getting ready for NFL action. Brian Tyms and Brandon Browner presumably must still wait.
Under terms of the new NFL/NFLPA drug policy, players who tested positive in the offseason for stimulants banned under the old PED policy will be reinstated. Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked Wednesday if he’s heard from the league on the possible impact the new agreement might have on Browner and Tyms.
“You have to talk to the league about that,” Belichick said. “We don’t know anything. It’s a very confidential policy and it’s really handled between the league and the players. Coaches are really out of it. I’m like Sergeant Schultz [from Hogan’s Heroes]. I don’t know anything.”
The joint announcement released Wednesday morning named only three players who qualify to return this week: Welker, Cowboys defensive back Orlando Scandrick and Rams receiver Stedman Bailey.
This brings up the question of why Browner and Tyms, two Patriots with pre-existing four-game suspensions, must still serve their suspensions.
Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan also argued that his four-game suspension came from taking a banned stimulant.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that the league and players union have agreed to a higher threshold for a positive marijuana test and a two-game suspension upon conviction or plea agreement for driving under the influence.
HGH testing, according to the release, should begin by the end of the month and will be fully implemented this season. NFL.com’s Albert Breer reported Wednesday that union sources claim there should be approximately 20 players affected by retroactive enforcement of the new policy.
The names of all the players who are affected by the new policy won’t be made public, according to Breer. Some players who had entered into the early stages of the program will simply be moved back a step. Names are kept confidential in the early stages of the league’s drug program. Players on the first or second step of the marijuana policy could be moved back according to Breer.