The Seattle Seahawks say they have repeatedly warned their players to follow the rules of the NFL’s drug-testing policy.
But when defensive end Bruce Irvin became the fifth Seahawk suspended since 2011 after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance, Seattle veterans took it upon themselves to address the issue internally.
Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor on Monday said he and other team leaders recently called a players-only meeting "to talk to the guys about not making the same mistakes over and over."
"We’ve got to grow up and move past that," Chancellor told co-host Jim Miller and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "That’s pretty much the message right now."
Irvin, who acknowledged the positive test earlier this month, will miss Seattle’s first four regular-season games. The Seahawks had hoped Irvin could continue to build on his eight-sack rookie campaign if pressed into a starting role replacing Chris Clemons, whose early season availability remains in question as he recovers from reconstructive knee surgery.
Irvin’s workload will now fall to Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Both of those veteran ends were signed as free agents earlier this offseason.
"Bruce is a key part of our defense," Chancellor said. "But our team is so stacked in our depth. Everybody is so good that whoever steps into that role, they’ll do their job, so we shouldn’t miss a beat."
Other Seahawks suspended for PED violations over the past two years were cornerback Brandon Browner, safety Winston Guy, and offensive linemen John Moffitt and Allen Barbre. Cornerback Richard Sherman also tested positive, but his suspension was overturned upon appeal when an arbitrator ruled there were flaws in gathering his urine sample.