The past year has provided numerous twists and turns for Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, and with the latest announcement by the Bills, it's gone in yet another direction. Henderson, after it was reported earlier in the week, has been suspended by the National Football League four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Henderson will serve his suspension starting on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, and won't be eligible to return until Week Five of the regular season. Henderson, who is in a battle with Crohn's disease, was reportedly going to appeal the decision due to the marijuana use being utilized as a remedy to his current medical situation.
Henderson's agent, Brian Fettner, released a statement through ESPN's Adam Schefter:
“Merciful or not, there is no medical exception that the NFL will accept. It doesn’t matter that Seantrel is battling Crohn’s disease, and has had his intestines outside his body. It doesn’t matter how you take it, if you digest the cannabis, that’s it. And they don’t care. So you can appeal and lose, and push it back, or you can get it over with. Per the negotiated letter of law, it seems like a futile appeal. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time. We want Seantrel back as soon as possible.”
The league issued a statement, but interestingly enough, the Bills did not. The league statement in full:
"Seantrel Henderson of the Buffalo Bills has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2016 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
Henderson’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Bills’ active roster on Monday, October 3 following the team’s October 2 game against the New England Patriots."
After practice, Bills head coach Rex Ryan wouldn't go near the question of the suspension, even being asked why the team didn't issue a suspension. He said that the Bills stand by the league statement.
With Henderson's suspension, the Bills had an empty spot on the roster and have re-signed kickoff specialist Jordan Gay, ending nearly a week-long stay on the practice squad.
The Bills take on the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday.
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