Under the new drug policy, WR Wes Welker could return to the Broncos immediately.
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The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to a revised drug policy, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning.
The new policy includes HGH testing starting this season, a higher threshold for a positive marijuana test and a two-game suspension upon conviction or plea agreement for driving under the influence, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Offseason amphetamine-positive tests will go from the performance-enhancing drug policy to the substances of abuse policy.
Per NFL Media’s Albert Breer, the league’s goal is to begin HGH testing by the end of the month. Breer reported Wednesday there should be approximately 20 players affected by retroactive enforcement of the new policy, according to union sources.The formal agreement comes nearly one week after the players’ union voted to approve a new proposal.
According to Breer, the public won’t learn of all the players who are affected by the new policy. Some of the players who had entered into the early stages of the program will simply be taken back a step. Names are kept confidential in the early stages of the league’s drug program. Players on the first or second step of the marijuana policy could be moved back.
The new policy means players such as Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick and St. Louis Rams WR Stedman Bailey will be judged by the new rules and are eligible to play in Week 3, per Rapoport.
Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has seen his year-long suspension reduced to 10 games. Gordon has already served two games of the ban and is eligible to return in Week 11. He has also been cleared to return to the Browns’ facility, a provision the team had sought since the beginning.