The Cleveland Browns welcomed Jabrill Peppers to the practice field on Saturday after the rookie finally filled out paperwork allowing him to do so.
The former Michigan star was unable to attend practices until then because he hadn’t filled out the paperwork, which led Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to speculate that, perhaps, it might have something to do with drug testing. Until Peppers signed that paperwork, not only could he not practice with the Browns, but the NFL couldn’t test him, either.
“That’s you guys’ speculation,” a frustrated Peppers responded, via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. “I don’t know why you guys think of me like that but everyone’s entitled to their opinion and what you guys think is no skin off of my teeth. I’m not worried about anything but being the best football player and person I could be.”
Peppers begins his NFL career in Stage 1 of the NFL’s drugs of abuse program after testing positive for dilute sample at the combine in February. However, in response to Florio’s speculation, the rookie blamed the paperwork lapse on excitement, rather than what had been suggested.
“It was just something with the paperwork,” Peppers said. “In light of my excitement I forgot that there’s also a business aspect, so fortunately we were able to get it handled today [and] I get to be out there with the guys.”
Whether the paperwork snafu was a result of forgetting about the “business aspect” of the NFL or a conscious effort to delay being tested, we might never know.
However, if Peppers does have a problem with drugs, it’s not something he’ll be able to hide for long, being that he’s already subject to testing. For his sake, and for the sake of Cleveland, hopefully this entire thing blows over soon, so they can just get to the business of playing football.