Last season, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory was suspended for at least a year after multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Gregory’s suspension was announced before the start of the postseason, and despite the ability to appeal the suspension, Gregory decided against it.
When the suspension was announced, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said the team was standing behind Gregory.
“Since he’s been drafted by us, he’s done a lot of stuff in his life to try to get his life right. He’s worked very hard at that with professional people who know what they’re doing. We believe he’s made great strides,” Garrett said. “We’re certainly going to support him as he goes forward each and every day and hopefully he’ll continue on the same path he’s been on.”
On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Gregory, who is eligible to apply for reinstatement in November, plans to do so. However, Gregory will wait until the offseason before he applies for reinstatement.
“I think there are still some personal issues to work through,” a league source was quoted saying, regarding Gregory’s potential November reinstatement. “It’s important that he’s in the right place personally and that might require some additional time.”
“Given the sensitivity of this matter, confidentiality of the program and Randy’s privacy, I am unable to comment,” Gregory’s attorney said. “However, I will confirm Randy has every intention of getting back on the football field.”
After failing a marijuana test during the NFL combine, Gregory, who was projected to be a top five pick, fell to the second round. Since he was drafted by the Cowboys, Gregory has violated the substance abuse policy several times.
During his rookie season, Gregory played in 12 games but did not get a sack. He was suspended for the first four games of last season after failing a drug test. A few months after that, he failed another drug test and was suspended for 10 games.
During his 10 game suspension, the league announced Gregory had failed another test, leading to his year-long suspension. However, the league did not institute the suspension until a week before the Cowboys were to play their first playoff game.
Gregory played in the final two games of the 2016 season, and recorded his first career sack in the final game of the season.
On Tuesday, during a radio appearance, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declined to say if Gregory will return to the Cowboys after serving his suspension.
“I wouldn’t get into what we’re going to do there, and what he’s going to do there,” Jones said. “But I do know that as we move forward with the league relative to how we handle a situation like Randy Gregory, his opportunity to play will get better and better. He’s, I think, the classic case of potentially what we ought to consider when we’re looking at some of our substance issues. I’m just going to hold it at that. I don’t want to speculate on whether he’ll be on the field for us here at that time or not.”