By John Boyle
Another marquee Seahawks player is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, and former first-round pick Bruce Irvin said he will not appeal.
Irvin, who led all rookies with 8.0 sacks last season, apologized in a statement saying he took a banned substance without a medical exemption. According to Sports Radio KJR’s Dave “Softy” Mahler, the suspension was for Adderall, which has become the usual explanation given by players who are suspended under the league’s PED policy. Per the rules outlined under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the NFL cannot say what specific substance a player was suspended for, which makes it impossible to know for sure in these instances.
Here’s the statement from Irvin:
“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption. I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return.”
Seattle’s first four games are at Carolina, home vs. San Francisco, home vs. Jacksonville and at Houston. Irvin’s first game back will be against Indianapolis. Irvin can participate in workouts and preseason games leading up to the regular season.
This news makes the offseason additions of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett all the more important, though those were moves the Seahawks made hoping to add to its pass rush, not replace a player like Irvin. The Seahawks could also open the season without defensive end Chris Clemons, who tore his ACL in Seattle’s playoff win in Washington D.C.
Last season, both of Seattle’s starting cornerbacks failed drug tests, again, reportedly for Adderall. After initially appealing, Brandon Browner dropped his appeal and served his suspension, but Richard Sherman fought his and won an appeal when he was able to show inconsistencies in the testing process.
Going back to 2011, in addition to Browner and now Irvin, other Seahawks who were suspended under the league’s PED policy are Allen Barbre, who was released after his suspension, Winston Guy, and John Moffitt, who served his suspension while already on injured reserve. The agents for Moffitt and Guy both said Adderall was the culprit for their clients’ failed tests as well.