Raiders DL Hit With 6-Game Suspension, Issues Statement in Response

gerald mccoy

Getty Las Vega Raiders DT Gerald McCoy.

A tough season for Gerald McCoy is only getting tougher. The six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle hurt his knee in the Las Vegas Raiders’ first game and is done for the year. Regardless of the injury, McCoy would’ve missed games.

The veteran defender has been suspended without pay for the Raiders’ next six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Raiders Wire reported on September 29.

This won’t affect McCoy’s time on the field since he was already on the team’s injured reserve, but he won’t be getting paid. This is the first time in his 12-year career that McCoy has been suspended. Prior to the injury, he was impressing Las Vegas with his leadership. It’s a disappointing development for the team but shouldn’t affect them on the field. The suspension will start immediately and won’t affect his eligibility next season.

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McCoy Issues Response

McCoy has always been a leader and high-character player throughout his career. Seeing him get suspended is a bit of a surprise, especially at this stage in his career.

McCoy missed last season due to injury and said in his September 29 statement that he had been prescribed the performance-enhancing drug “to help with scar tissue and tendon strength” and didn’t realize it was banned:

I love the game of football and have nothing but respect for the players, fans, and this league. I’ve given my all to this game and worked my entire career to compete, train, and rehabilitate at a high level with integrity. It is with great disappointment that I recently learned I tested positive for a banned substance. … In no way would I ever intentionally take anything to help with performance or gain a competitive advantage. This was an honest mistake, but it’s something I take full responsibility for. I apologize to my family, the NFL, my teammates, and the fans and ask humbly for your forgiveness.

There’s no reason to believe that McCoy will have an ongoing issue with suspensions. It sounds like he was trying to figure out how to best recover from an injury and made a bad call.

Any Chance McCoy Gets Another Shot With Raiders?

McCoy is 33 years old and has played one game in the last two seasons due to injury. It could be a frustrating end for a player who could end up in the Hall of Fame. While the prime of his career is certainly over, he could still have a bit left to give.

The Raiders did really like having him around. He was a great leader for a young defensive line and showed that he could still be an impact player. Obviously his knee will have to be watched, but the team would be wise to bring him back if he’d like to return. At worst, he provides a lot of leadership. If he can get healthy, then he’d possibly bring some solid interior pass rush.

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