There remains a chance that Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker and other currently suspended players will be able to suit up Week 2. National Football League Players Association reps are reportedly slated to vote on a new drug policy that would overhaul the league’s stance on recreational drugs and create testing of HGH for the first time.
NFLPA Player Representatives have been asked to set aside time tomorrow to review and potentially vote on new drug policies.
— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) September 12, 2014
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio indicates that a source within the league “expects that a vote will occur.”
NFL Media’s Albert Breer backs up this sentiment.
The NFLPA got the new proposal from the NFL tonight, and the language issues seem to be worked out. Good chance this is done tomorrow.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 12, 2014
If enacted, the new drug policy will likely reverse previous suspensions, enabling some players to suit up this weekend. According to other reports, this hasn’t really been a point of contention between the two sides. Instead, it’s mundane language in the final proposal that has held up the vote for a couple days.
For his part, Attallah indicated earlier on Thursday that NFL’s marijuana policy is trending in the “opposite direction of society.”
Yeah, well, not to make light of the issue, but certainly society is trending a certain way on marijuana. The recreational drugs falls under the substances of abuse policy.
Certainly, we’ve expressed to the league that we can’t have a situation where the trends are moving in one direction, and our league is moving in the opposite direction. Clearly, we have to maintain a level of credibility with our players and our fans, as it relates to use.
Some may use this statement to draw a conclusion that suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will be back sooner rather than later. Fox Sports insider Mike Garafolo warns against this.
8 games, which is what new policy likely calls for. RT @TK_Smith3: how long do you think Josh Gordon will be suspended after the voting?
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 11, 2014
In any event, we can expect to have a better understanding of what this means for players both short term and long term on Friday. As you may have already guessed, the league has drawn some criticism for what have been archaic drug policies in the past.