Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan has violated the NFL’s drug policy for a second time and the league announced he will not be eligible to return until the seventh game of the season, against Jacksonville on Oct. 26.
Jordan, the third overall pick of the 2013 draft, was told that his ongoing four-game suspension would be lifted immediately under terms of the new drug policy regarding performance-enhancing substances.
But he also was told that he will be suspended another four games, beginning this weekend, because he failed a test for a more serious, addictive drug that falls within the league policy on “substances of abuse.”
Jordan announced that he is undergoing treatment “to address my situation. I am working hard to become a better man and to make better choices in the future. I am especially looking forward to returning to the team. I also want to thank my family, Coach [Joe] Philbin and the Miami Dolphins organization for their support.”
His mother, Sherrita Jordan, previously told The Miami Herald that she had a drug problem that lasted decades. Jordan was sent away to live with his aunt at age 12.
“It was a hardship for me and my family but by the grace of God, I overcame that,” Sherrita Jordan said last year. “There is a negative and positive. The negative is the kids sometimes would be separated from me, and the positive is the kids see the result of using drugs and they will make that decision to do better for themselves. The good thing is they decided to do something different with their lives, something positive.”
Philbin, in a statement, said: “While we were disappointed to learn of this result, we support Dion for proactively taking steps to voluntarily seek treatment to better himself. We will continue to support and work with him as he takes advantage of all available resources during this time.”
ANOTHER SETBACK FOR CLASS OF 2013
The extension of Jordan’s absence is the latest setback for a 2013 draft class that played fewer snaps than any other team’s last season.
Several players in that class are getting more of an opportunity this season, with mixed results.
More insight will be gleaned Sunday, when Dallas Thomas likely assumes starting right guard duties in the absence of injured Shelley Smith.
“I’m excited, another day to show I have improved since the last time,” Thomas said.
Thomas lost the right guard job after he was overwhelmed by Tampa All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in the second game of preseason.
“I took that as a lesson,” he said. “This is a second opportunity and I will take full advantage of it.”
Philbin said Thomas’ performance was “good, solid,” when he replaced Smith midway through the Buffalo game.
Of the 2013 draft picks, linebacker Jelani Jenkins has left the best impression so far this season, filling in capably after Dannell Ellerbe was sidelined early in the opener. “He’s been decisive, he runs well and he’s tackled well,” Philbin said. “We’ve been pleased so far.”
Pro Football Focus ranks his performance third-best among all 4-3 outside linebackers this season, with positive grades against both the pass and the run. Of the 10 passes thrown with Jenkins in coverage this season, only five have been completed, for 40 yards.
Cornerback Will Davis, drafted 93rd overall in 2013, was thrust into the lineup because of Reshad Jones’ suspension, which moved Jimmy Wilson from nickel cornerback to safety. Davis, who beat out Jamar Taylor for the No. 3 corner job, has been inconsistent and might not play as much Sunday if Wilson plays more nickel.
He allowed only three of 12 passes thrown against him in the New England game to be completed, for 22 yards. But Sammy Watkins beat him for four catches, for 59 yards, in the Buffalo game.
‘ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT’
Davis – who has been targeted 17 times (seven completions) in 70 snaps – said he’s not surprised that he’s being thrown at a lot more than starters Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan, who each have played the same number of snaps (145) and been targeted the same number of times (10).
Davis believes he’s a better player than a year ago because “I’m keeping my eyes on my man instead of peeking at the quarterback.”
Philbin assessed Davis’ progress this way: “I think there is a lot of room for improvement. [But] not disappointed one iota in him. He’s going to be a good player.”
Taylor, drafted 54th in 2013, was disappointed he didn’t win the No. 3 cornerback job. “I want to be on the field more,” he said.
Taylor has played just 19 snaps in two games. Three of the five passes thrown against Taylor this season have been caught, for 19 yards.
Among the other 2013 draft picks, tight end Dion Sims dropped a pass from Ryan Tannehill in the opener.
Caleb Sturgis has hit all five of his field-goal attempts, but none longer than 38 yards, and still must prove he’s effective from distance after hitting 3 of 7 from 50 yards or more last season.
Mike Gillislee is on injured reserve and Don Jones, cut by Miami, plays for the Patriots.
But the 2013 draft class will be judged primarily on the growth of Jordan, and he’s now out for another month.
“He’s working hard, staying in shape as much as possible,” said Dolphins defensive Cameron Wake, who has spoken with him.
Linebacker Koa Misi will miss his second consecutive game because of an ankle injury. As expected, running back Knowshon Moreno (elbow) and
guard Shelley Smith (knee) were also ruled out for Sunday’s game against Kansas City.
The Dolphins listed center Mike Pouncey, defensive end Terrence Fede and linebacker Jordan Tripp as doubtful. Tight end Charles Clay, who has been dealing with a knee issue, and guard Billy Turner are questionable.
For Kansas City, safety Eric Berry (ankle) and running back DeAnthony Thomas (hamstring) are out, and Jamaal Charles – the NFL’s third-leading rusher last season – is questionable with an ankle injury.