A bit of confusion emerged Sunday when it was reported that Randy Gregory would be serving his four-game suspension, rather than a 10-game ban. However, as more information became availalbe, it became clear the Dallas Cowboys pass rusher’s season is still in doubt.
Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram had written “Gregory has apparently won his appeal of a 10-game suspension for an additional violation of the NFL’s substance abuse program and will only be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.”
After some investigation, Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports discovered that, while the four-game suspension was in effect, the 10-game suspension was by no means a thing of the past.
Gregory appeared on yesterday's wire as suspended 4 games because the 10-gamer remains under appeal. Still don't know when he'll be eligible
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 4, 2016
Gregory failed four drug tests in a year, which is why he’s currently starting the season on the four-game suspension.
But he reportedly failed a fifth drug test this offseason, which led to the potential of a 10-game ban. Furthermore, he did not show up to training camp, prompting the Cowboys to put him on the reserve/did not report list.
He’s currently in rehab getting help for his addiction, per Hill. The Cowboys expressed fear that Gregory may never play again after his latest spiral (more on that here).
A supremely talented defensive lineman, the former Nebraska star saw his draft stock slip in he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2015. A guy many pegged as a potential top-10 overall pick, he fell out of the first round altogether. The Cowboys drafted him in the second round, taking a risk they likely regret at this point.
Dallas saw three prominent defenders slapped with heavy suspensions this offseason due to failed drug tests. This trend could cost owner Jerry Jones a pretty penny in the form of a hefty league fine.
Back to Gregory, it’s likely his 2016 season is in jeopardy. If he loses his appeal on the 10-game suspension, it’s all but a lost cause. His best hope of getting back onto the field for the ‘Boys is to get his life back on track, get clean for good and train in preparation for a potential return to action in 2017.