Collins missed many drug tests, according to sources, but believes there are valid reasons for almost every case.
La’el Collins He will begin a five-game suspension Sunday, but the Dallas Cowboys right tackle will appeal the penalty and hopes the NFL will change its decision.
Collins se he lost many drug tests, according to sources, but believes there are valid reasons for almost every case.
One was in November on the day a Cowboys coach, Markus Paul, died and the organization sent all of its players home in grief.
Another situation was when Collins attended the funeral of a relative in Arizona, according to reports. The Cowboys gave Collins permission to leave Dallas and go with his family, the source told ESPN.
A third failed test came when the tackle underwent hip surgery in October. The league tested a positive codeine test against him, but Collins was prescribed the drug after the intervention.
Collins had no positive for marijuana for the past 18 months. Their representatives also argue that, under the new substance policies in the new collective contract, suspensions are not contemplated for missing tests.
If his punishment is not reduced or overturned, Collins will be eligible to return to the roster until October 18, when the Cowboys face the New England Patriots.
The suspension would cost him about two million and, due to the collective agreement, he would lose the guarantee for injury of 6.48 million of his 2022 salary.
Collins has started in 62 of 63 games he has played for the Cowboys since 2015 as a left guard or right tackle. He missed 13 games in 2016 due to injury and the entire previous season due to hip surgery.
Todd Archer contributed to this report.