The Bears aren’t exactly buying Alshon Jeffery’s excuse for PED suspension
Alshon Jeffery was having a rough season through 10 weeks. He caught 40 passes for 630 yards and one touchdown in the first nine games, which is a far cry from his 1,421-yard season in 2013. His disappointing stretch was made even worse when he was suspended four games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.
His ban not only cost him millions of dollars this season, but it will also dock him significant money in the offseason when he’s a free agent. He hasn’t asked anyone to feel sorry for him, and the Bears certainly don’t.
“Everybody in the building … educates these guys,” head coach John Fox said, via the Chicago Tribune. “So especially a veteran, they have heard it 400 times.”
In a statement, Jeffery said this: “I took a recommended supplement to combat inflammation. Unfortunately this supplement contained an ingredient that was on the NFL's banned substance list.” Of course, Jeffery didn’t know that, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken it.
That doesn’t rid him of blame, considering just about every other player is able to avoid banned substances. Cornerback Tracy Porter says it’s something they all have to watch out for.
“It's just like an extra homework assignment,” Porter said. “You really have to pay attention to the ingredients because even one thing that's put in there could give you that positive test.
“Your body is what makes your money. Your availability to the team, that's what counts. Guys are going to try to do anything they can to get back to 100 percent as quickly as possible.”
Avoiding banned substances is obviously a big part of staying on the field in the NFL, and it’s not easy. Tight end Logan Paulsen constantly keeps his eyes open when buying things such as protein bars and shakes.
“You go to a gas station and you're hungry,” Paulsen said. “There's a protein bar there — not NSF certified. You have to be really careful.
“At a Jamba Juice, I've had to ask what type of protein do you use in this smoothie. No one thinks twice, but I've got to ask what's in there.”