Newsweek reports that Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson is not among the six players that the league announced would be suspended due to a violation of the NFL’s steroid policy. The seven players including Jackson had all appealed their suspensions which were handed down in October, but for six of them those suspensions will be upheld.
Jackson’s potential suspension has not yet been overturned. According to the Pioneer Press, NFL chief counsel Jeff Pash had heard the appeals by the players, but per NFL spokesman Greg Aiello will need additional information from Jackson in order to make a decision about his suspension.
While Jackson will be eligible to play this week against the New Orleans Saints, his status remains uncertain in subsequent weeks if the league follows suit and turns down his appeal.
Carroll Rogers of the AJC reports that the Falcons expect defensive end John Abraham to suit up against the San Diego Chargers this upcoming weekend. Abraham suffered a stinger against the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago and has been limited since, although he has played in and started both games since.
Rogers also reports that offensive tackle Sam Baker is not expected to play this week against the Chargers, but that his rehabilitation is going well per head coach Mike Smith. Per Rogers, there is a possibility that Baker may be able to make it back on the field before the end of the regular season, with a shot at playing in any of the final three games.
Defensive tackle Grady Jackson should be available for the Falcons for at least another week. Jackson had a hearing for his appeal of a four-game suspension meted out by the league in October this past Friday. But per the AJC, Jackson’s representatives aren’t expected to hear back from the league whether or not his suspension will be lifted until after December 1, meaning that he should not miss the Chargers game on November 30.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that Michael Vick entered a guilty plea to state dogfighting charges in Sussex County, Virginia. Vick is currently incarcerated stemming from his guilty plea from federal conspiracy charges.
Vick signed a plea agreement and will receive a three-year suspended prison sentence and a $2500 fine along with four years of probation. The fine will be waived if Vick pays court costs and maintains good behavior for the length of his probation.
Vick is scheduled to be released from federal prison in July 2009 but could become eligibile to have an early release six months prior and enter a halfway house.
Vick is still technically on the Falcons roster, but is currently serving an indefinite suspension from the NFL. There has been no word on a possible timetable if and when he can be reinstated by the league. Falcons owner Arthur Blank indicated earlier this month that he believes Vick should be reinstated and that he would encourage other NFL owners to sign him if available.
Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson will have a hearing for the league to hear his appeal tomorrow. Jackson has been suspended four games by the NFL due to a violation of the league’s steroid policy. Jackson took an illegal substance called Bumetanide, which can be used for weight loss as well as a masking agent for steroids.
Jackson tested positive for Bumetanide due to his taking of StarCaps diet pills. Jackson has filed a lawsuit against the company that manufactures StarCaps for false advertising and unfair business practices per the AJC.
While Jackson was suspended shortly after his positive test was first revealed in October, he has been able to still play for the Falcons since due to his appealing the suspension. After his hearing on Friday, he and the Falcons will know if his suspension will be dropped or upheld. If the suspension is upheld, Jackson won’t miss this weekend’s game against the Carolina Panthers. But instead will begin serving his suspension the following week and will not be available to play again until the final game of the season versus the St. Louis Rams on December 28.
Per a report by Jay Glazer during FOX’s pregame show on Sunday, Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson tested positive for a diuretic in a recent batch of the league’s testing for steroids and illegal substances. As such, Jackson will be subject for a four-game suspension.
The story was initially broken by Josina Anderson of Denver’s FOX 31 in that several NFL players tested positive for a diuretic called Bumetanide. Bumetanide is on the league’s list of banned substances due to the possibility that it can be used as a masking agent for other illegal substances. It is also used for weight loss. Jackson is listed at 345 pounds.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen followed up the report indicating that eight NFL players have pending cases in relation to this recent rash of positive tests. It is assumed that Jackson is among the eight. Including Jackson, seven players have been identified so far: running back Deuce McAllister, defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant all with the New Orleans Saints, defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of the Minnesota Vikings, and Houston Texans long snapper Bryan Pittman.
The AJC reports that Falcons safety Lawyer Milloy was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding early Monday morning in Gwinnett County, Georgia. According to records, Milloy was booked around 4:30 am and posted bond at 9:48 am.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith indicated to the media on Monday that the situation will be handled internally by the team.
Pro Football Weekly reports that ex-Falcons safety Jimmy Williams has been suspended for five games this season by the NFL.
Despite his suspension, Williams can still sign and practice with a team, as the suspension only takes effect at the start of the regular season. No specific reason for why Williams was suspended, but it likely stems from his arrest for marijuana possession last year.
The Falcons released Williams in June. He had reportedly skipped some OTAs in May and also reported to mini-camp over 230 pounds. His listed weight in 2007 was 212 pounds.
Pro Football Weekly reports that the Falcons may release safety Daren Stone if he’s convicted of DUI, stemming from a June arrest. According to the report, the Falcons organization has become hypersensitive in the wake of Michael Vick’s legal troubles from a year ago about its players getting involved in on the wrong side of the law. Per an AJC report, Falcons head coach Mike Smith had this to say about Stone’s arrest back in June:
“There isn’t really anything I can say other than I’m disappointed, that is obvious. We’re disappointed as an organization. I spoke with Daren and again, any of those conversations I would like to keep private.”
The PFW report also indicates another reason which may prompt Stone’s untimely dismissal is the development of rookie Thomas DeCoud, who has gotten some limited work with the team’s first team defense at safety. Following the team’s decision to release safety Jimmy Williams last month, the team also signed veteran Deke Cooper, who started 15 games for the Carolina Panthers last season, which also prevents a glaring loss of depth if Stone is released.
Despite the team’s reported hypersensitivity, there is no indication that Michael Boley will lose his roster spot over his May arrest on battery against his wife.
The AJC reports that Falcons reserve safety Daren Stone was arrested in downtown Atlanta on early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence. He was released Sunday afternoon on bond. He will meet with team officials today per a Buffalo News report.
Stone was sixth round pick with the Falcons last season out of Maine. He was limited to mostly special teams work, finishing the season with 2 tackles on defense and 8 on special teams.
The AJC reports that Falcons linebacker Michael Boley was arrested on Saturday on battery charges and has been released on $1,200 bond.
Falcons officials indicated they are aware of Boley’s arrest, but have no comment. Boley last month signed a one-year restricted free agent tender worth over $2 million, and the team has been trying to give him a long-term extension.