The Dallas Cowboys announced that offensive tackle La’el Collins has been suspended by the NFL for five games. The suspension is due to a violation of the NFL’s banned substances policy.
“Starting right-handed offensive tackle La’el Collins has been suspended without pay for the next five games for violating the NFL’s banned substance policy, the NFL announced Friday,” the Cowboys stated in a press release. “Collins will be able to return to the Cowboys roster on Monday, October 18, after the game against New England in Week 6.
The Cowboys have week seven off, which means that only in week eight against the Vikings will they be able to have their entire starting offensive line again. Starting guard Zach Martin missed the first game of the season after contracting COVID-19, and Collins will be out when the veteran plays again.
Collins Plans to Appeal Suspension: The Report
Few details have been released about what prompted Collins’ suspension. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Collins’ suspension is tied to “not doing anti-doping.” The NFL classified it as “absence.” ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that Collins plans to appeal the suspension, but it is estimated that he has very little chance of being able to reverse the punishment.
Source: Although they appear to be unsuccessful, attorneys for offensive tackle La’el Collins continue to appeal on his behalf, arguing that NFL policy only allows the application of a fine, and not a suspension, to a player who it has only been missing to his mandatory anti-doping appointment, ”Werder tweeted.
The Cowboys Just Added a Player to Their Offensive Line in the Fourth Round of the Draft
The unfortunate news puts his draft picks back under fire as the team chose not to add an offensive lineman in the early rounds. It was rumored that the Cowboys could add offensive lineman Rashawn Slater of Northwestern University with the 10th pick in the draft. Ultimately, the team chose to give up their pick to go down to the 12th pick, with which they selected linebacker Micah Parsons. Slater was selected by the Chargers with the following pick.
Pro Football Talk reported that Collins’ suspension “is not final,” but it does not seem likely given that the team has already announced the news. Unless the appeal is successful, the Cowboys will be without Collins for most of the first half of the season.
“La’el Collins’s suspension is not final and should not have been disclosed or reported,” Pro Football Talk tweeted. “But, as always, the NFL’s confidentiality policy has been violated – not least by internal NFL media.
Collins’ Representatives Criticized the NFL
Representatives for Collins have said they are “extremely disappointed in the way the NFL has handled this case” and have criticized the League for “trampling on Mr. Collins’ rights by communicating the information prematurely.” according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. Additionally, Gehlken added that Collins’ suspension is due to his refusal to take the anti-doping test.
“Cowboys right tackle La’el Collins has not tested positive on his drug test, a source said,” Gehlken tweeted. “He refused to be tested. In any case, the suspension remains. His salary for five games will be deducted – an amount that would have been higher if he did not restructure his contract in March. Part of that salary was converted into a bonus.
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