On Monday, the Chicago Bears got a lot of bad news. Kyle Long was lost for the year (LINK), there was more anonymous reporting on Jay Cutler (LINK), and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery gets issued an unpaid four-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs (LINK).
My first thought when the Jeffery news was announced was wondering if it were related to injury recovery. Everyone knows Jeffery struggled to stay healthy for the better part of two seasons, and 2016 is a contract year for him.
Reports coming in that #Bears WR Alshon Jeffery was popped for PED's. Suspended 4 games w/o pay. Initial thoughts go to injury recovery?— Dane Noble (@WindyCGridiron) November 14, 2016
It’s easy for athletes to blame supplements and “I didn’t do my homework on what I was taking” for failed drug tests, and has almost become the standard response when it happens. For Jeffery, it sort of made sense.
A few hours after he was suspended, Jeffery made the following statement:
“As a professional athlete, I have been careful about what I put in my body. I took a recommended supplement to combat inflammation. Unfortunately this supplement contained an ingredient that was on the NFL’s banned substance list. I take full responsibility and I'm deeply upset with myself for not doing the proper research on this supplement. I want to apologize to my family, the Bears organization, my teammates, and Bears fans. I will work hard to earn back the respect and trust of the Bears nation and look forward to being back on the field.”
We’ll never know if Jeffery was flat-out cheating hoping he didn’t get caught, of if he was truly this irresponsible in what he was putting into his body.