NFL Suspends Darren Waller For 2017 Season

By Benji Garcia-Reyes

IG: @themedimexican

The count now stands at four, for NFL players suspended this off-season for violations of NFL’s substance abuse policy, all believed to be cannabis related. Baltimore Raven’s tight end Darren Waller, who was suspended last season for four games, is the latest player to be suspended for the entire 2017 Season.

The suspension could not come at a worse time for the talented 24-year-old Waller, a 6-foot-8, 255-pounder from Georgia Tech, a former sixth-round pick, who was expected to play a major role in an already depleted tight ends position. Waller can be part training camp and workouts, but will not be allowed to work with the team or at team facilities during his one-year, unpaid suspension.

After his 2016, 4-game cannabis related suspension, he caught ten passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns.  He might not have the same luck or opportunity again after being out of the game for one year. Not to mention limited game experience as a tight end, since in college he was a wide receiver. He converted to a tight end when drafted because of his size and receiving combination. His limited tight end game time is one thing he could have capitalized on since his main competition is coming back from torn ACL, hip, and knee surgeries.

Three other players with similar substance abuse policy violations were Dallas Cowboys Defensive End Randy Gregory (suspended for one year), free agent safety T.J. McDonald (suspended for the first eight games), and free agent cornerback Justin Gilbert (suspended for the first four games), all for alleged cannabis use. While there are another six who are suspended for PEDs (performance enhancements drugs), some, if not all, face similar fines and suspensions.