The NFL and the players’ union remain at odds over a new drug policy, meaning the Dolphins’ two suspended players will remain that way for some time.
On a conference call Tuesday night, team player reps decided against voting on the league’s latest proposal, which NFL.com reported would allow for testing for HGH but also have higher thresholds for positives for marijuana tests.
It was not immediately clear when the union would next take up the issue with its membership.
That leaves the Dolphins, at least in the short term, in limbo about two key defensive players.
Both Reshad Jones and Dion Jordan failed tests for performance-enhancing drugs this summer and were automatically suspended for the first four games of the season. However, a league source said that the new policy could potentially alleviate those suspensions. The Dolphins are monitoring the situation.
The Dolphins’ player rep is long snapper John Denney, who said Tuesday that he is in favor of HGH testing but that the fate of his two suspended teammates would not factor into his decision-making.
“That hasn’t even crossed my mind, in that perspective,” Denney said. “You’ve got to do what’s best for the players as a whole — past, present and future. You’ve got to take it all under consideration.”
A common argument against the existing policy is that players who test positive for amphetamines, which are banned stimulants, often do so unwittingly. A common argument is that they were unaware those substances were used to cut a drug that they took recreationally. Under the proposed change, a player with a first-time positive test would be put into the league’s substance-abuse program but not suspended.
Odrick on NCAA
Jared Odrick, who played at Penn State, had strong words for the NCAA the day after it lifted his alma mater’s bowl ban, imposed in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal.
“I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that so many people outside of the actual problem or situation got punished,” Odrick said. “There was no need for any of that. ... I think they felt like they needed to do something, so they did something. They did it in a totally wrong, uneducated manner.”
Along with lost scholarships, Penn State was forced to pay $60 million in fines.
Odrick’s response: “I almost feel like Penn State deserves reparations. ... There was nothing positive that came from those sanctions that were placed on Penn State. It was absolutely ridiculous. I guess one thing I’ve learned about some organizations that run football that things aren’t supposed to make sense, because that sure as hell didn’t.”