Browns QB Deshaun Watson is still facing multiple lawsuits in Texas.

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Report: NFL could stretch Deshaun Watson decision to 2023

The NFL is expected to decide whether to suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson before the season begins, though there’s a small chance the issue could drag into 2023, The MMQB reported Monday.

According to the report, the NFL has talked with at least half of the 22 women who filed civil suits against Watson last spring, contending he committed sexual improprieties with them during the course of massages.

Watson was questioned last week by two NFL investigators.

Work on the civil cases is expected to be put on hold on July 1 until after the 2022 season. At that point, the NFL could make a decision on a potential suspension or wait until before the 2023 season, which MMQB said was unlikely.

Once the investigators have finished their work, they will give their results to former U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson, who can determine the penalty for Watson, per the report.

Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson in any of the cases, and he maintains he did nothing wrong.

But in a pre-trial deposition recently, Watson admitted at least one massage therapist left their session in tears and he sent her an apology, according to attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the women.

Cleveland surrendered significant draft capital that included three first-round picks to acquire Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans on March 18. Cleveland then signed him to a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract.

Watson’s contract was structured in a way that he is scheduled to receive just $1.035 million in base pay in 2022, meaning he’s at risk to be hurt much more financially with a 2023 suspension when he is slated to earn $46 million in base pay.

Watson, 26, did not play in 2021 amid a request for a trade and his legal issues.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts against the Green Bay Packers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Hopkins ‘confused and shocked’ by positive drug test

Arizona Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins said he was “confused and shocked” after learning he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Hopkins, 29, released a statement on social media Monday night after receiving a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s policy on PEDs.

“In my 10-year NFL career, I have never tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs,” he posted on Twitter.

“To learn that my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.

“I am very mindful of what I put in my body and have always taken a holistic approach, so I am working with my team to investigate how this could’ve happened. But even as careful as I have been, clearly I wasn’t careful enough. For that, I apologize to Cardinals fans, my teammates, and the entire Cardinals organization. I never want to let my team down.

“I fully intend to get to the bottom of this. As soon as I have more information I will share it.”

According to the league, Hopkins tested positive for a prohibited substance plus a diuretic or masking agent. He will be eligible to participate in training camp and preseason practices and games, and he can return to regular-season competition for the Cardinals’ seventh game of the season.

Hopkins set career lows with 42 catches for 574 yards in his second season with the Cardinals in 2021. He did catch eight touchdown passes.

A three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Hopkins missed Arizona’s last four regular season games and the playoff loss due to a knee injury.

He has 789 catches for 10,581 yards and 68 TDs in 136 games (all starts) with the Cardinals and Houston Texans (2013-19), who drafted him 27th overall in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts to a penalty against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

Nfl Los Angeles Rams At Arizona Cardinals

Report: Cards’ DeAndre Hopkins facing 6-game PED suspension

The NFL is set to suspend Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, ESPN reported Monday.

Hopkins, 29, set career lows with 42 catches for 574 yards in his second season with the Cardinals in 2021. He did catch eight touchdown passes.

A three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Hopkins missed Arizona’s last four regular season games and the playoff loss due to a knee injury.

The Cardinals, who lost receiver Christian Kirk to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, made a draft-day trade last week to acquire Baltimore Ravens wideout Marquise Brown.

Hopkins signed a two-year, $54.5 million contract extension with the Cardinals on Sept. 8, 2020. He carries a cap hit of $17.95 million in 2022 with a dead cap value of $33.8 million, per Spotrac.

He was acquired in a trade with the Houston Texans on March 16, 2020.

Hopkins has 789 catches for 10,581 yards and 68 touchdowns in 136 career games (all starts) with the Cardinals and the Texans (2013-19), who drafted him 27th overall in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Bengals Amani Bledsoe works on defensive drills during training camp on the. practice fields at Paul Brown Stadium Friday, August 6, 2021.

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DE Amani Bledsoe given six-game PED suspension to start 2022

Free agent defensive end Amani Bledsoe was suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season on Tuesday.

He was suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, NFL Network reported.

Bledsoe appeared in five games, starting two, for the Tennessee Titans in 2021. He recorded just one tackle and one pass breakup before the Titans waived him on Nov. 15 and moved him onto the practice squad. He also spent the 2020 season with the Cincinnati Bengals, starting four games in 14 appearances and recording 17 tackles.

It is Bledsoe’s first suspension as an NFL player, but he also lost a year of eligibility in college at Oklahoma for failing a drug test.

–Field Level Media

Aug 20, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Pooka Williams Jr. (36) carries the ball past Washington Football Team defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence (92) during the third quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals RB Pooka Williams suspended 2 games for PEDs

The NFL on Wednesday suspended Cincinnati Bengals running back Pooka Williams two games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The undrafted 22-year-old rookie will be eligible to return for the final week of the regular season.

Williams has spent most of the season on the practice squad, appearing in one game and returning three kickoffs for 52 yards in a Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Williams was an All-Big 12 selection at Kansas, where he rushed for more than 1,000 yards in both 2018 and 2019.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Jimmy Lake signals for his players to go to the locker room following a 26-16 loss against the Oregon Ducks at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Washington fires coach Jimmy Lake

Washington fired head coach Jimmy Lake before the end of his second season at the football program’s helm, Yahoo Sports and The Athletic reported Sunday.

Lake was suspended for one game after a sideline altercation with one of his players, Ruperake Fuavai, on Nov. 6. That game, a 26-16 loss to then-No. 4 Oregon, turned out to be Lake’s last game in charge of the program.

Reports said Lake was terminated without cause and Washington therefore owes him a $9.9 million buyout.

Lake appeared to strike Fuavai in his facemask as a scrum between Washington and Oregon players was subsiding. Lake also was seen on the national television broadcast pushing Fuavai.

“I didn’t strike him. I separated him,” Lake said after the game, but he later posted an apology to social media.

Washington athletic director Jen Cohen said the university investigated the incident and determined that Lake’s actions weren’t “intentional or deliberate,” but still thought his conduct required a suspension.

Lake was a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for six seasons at Washington before being elevated to head coach before the 2020 season. The Huskies went 7-6 under Lake, including 4-5 this season (not counting Saturday’s loss to Arizona State, when Lake was suspended).

–Field Level Media

Dec 15, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Frank Herron (75) sprays himself with water during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

NFL suspends Panthers DE Frank Herron 2 game for PEDs

The NFL suspended Carolina Panthers practice squad defensive end Frank Herron two games without pay Saturday for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

He will be eligible to return on Nov. 8, the day after Carolina’s Week 9 game against New England.

Herron, 27, has not appeared in a regular season game this year. He signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Panthers in May.

Undrafted out of LSU in 2018, Herron appeared in seven games with the Detroit Lions during the 2019-20 seasons and recorded 11 tackles.

–Field Level Media

Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La'el Collins (71) pass protects against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Dion Jordan (95) in the second quarter in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Cowboys OL La’el Collins tried to bribe tester

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman La’el Collins is serving a five-game suspension in part for attempting to bribe one of the league’s testers, ESPN is reporting.

Collins, 28, was suspended on Sept. 10 without pay for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. At the time, NFL Network reported that Collins was suspended for missing drug tests.

According to ESPN’s report, the NFL Players Association actually negotiated Collins’ suspension down to two games, but Collins appealed the suspension and an arbitrator instead ruled to reinstate the five-game penalty.

The ban began with last Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cowboys will face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night while Collins misses his second game.

Collins again is appealing the suspension, claiming he had valid reasons for several of the missed tests, per ESPN.

He reportedly missed a November 2020 test when players had been sent home early to mourn the death of strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul.

A second missed test occurred while he was attending an uncle’s funeral, with permission from the team.

He reportedly missed another test last October on a day that he was scheduled to have hip surgery and was flagged for codeine after the fact, despite being prescribed the drug after the surgery.

Unless he wins the appeal, Collins won’t be allowed to return to the active roster until Oct. 18, the day after the Cowboys’ Week 6 game at New England. The Cowboys have a bye in Week 7, so he will not be eligible to play again until the Week 8 contest at Minnesota on Oct. 31.

Collins signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension in September 2019. Undrafted out of LSU in 2015, he has started 62 of his 63 games with the Cowboys. He missed all of last season with the hip injury.

–Field Level Media

Nov 2, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes defensive back Gurvan Hall Jr. (26) celebrates after making a fourth quarter interception as the Florida State Seminoles host the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Hurricanes S Gurvan Hall suspended one game

The Miami Hurricanes starting safety Gurvan Hall was suspended for Saturday’s game against Central Connecticut due to an unspecified violation of team rules.

The suspension was announced about an hour before kickoff of the nonconference contest.

Hall started the first three games for the Hurricanes (1-2) this season and registered 21 tackles.

He has 138 tackles, two sacks and one interception in 39 games (17 starts) with the program since 2018.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) is helped off of the field during the first half against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL reinstates WR Josh Gordon from suspension

The NFL is reinstating Josh Gordon, and the wide receiver could return to action as soon as Week 4, ESPN reported Friday.

Earlier this summer, he sent a letter to commissioner Roger Goodell, asking to be reinstated.

Ten days ago, ESPN reported that the NFL Players Association reviewed Gordon’s case and found that the former All-Pro had successfully completed his mandated treatment program. The union recommended his reinstatement.

Gordon, 30, is vaccinated against COVID-19 and said to be ready to play. He has been subject to random drug testing.

He will be a free agent.

“We are grateful that the NFL appreciates the work that Josh put in and now he has earned another opportunity to be part of this league, said Zac Hiller, Gordon’s new agent, to ESPN. “We are proud of Josh, and I know all the fans can’t wait to see him on Sundays.”

While with the Seattle Seahawks in December 2019, Gordon was given an indefinite suspension for substance abuse and performance-enhancing substance violations.

It marked Gordon’s sixth suspension since the 2013 season.

A subsequent reinstatement in December 2020 lasted only a month — with no on-field appearances — and was rescinded in January 2021.

ESPN’s report said Gordon had a setback in his recovery.

Gordon entered the league in the 2012 supplemental draft, selected in the second round — No. 1 overall — by the Browns. He played in Cleveland until 2018 — he missed 2015-16 due to suspension — then played parts of 2018-19 with the New England Patriots before moving on to Seattle.

Gordon has 247 career receptions for 4,252 yards with 20 touchdowns in 63 games (56 starts).

–Field Level Media