Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that cornerback Eric Wright will be suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. Former Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib was suspended under the same policy earlier this season, and claimed it was for taking Adderall. An earlier report by Jay Glazer suggested that Wright would be suspended for taking Adderall.
The question is, though, whether he really took Adderall. There are certainly reasons for players to take Adderall, an amphetamine and effectively a concentration drug, but they could easily be lying about their use as well. The NFL does not disclose whether players have taken Adderall or another banned substance, regardless of players' claims. Wright's suspension comes on the heels of reports that Seattle cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman will both be suspended for taking Adderall, making it an especially popular drug among secondaries around the league.
With Eric Wright suspended for four games, the Tampa Bay secondary, ranked last in the league by total yardage, won't be getting any better soon. They will be starting E.J. Biggers and undrafted rookie Leonard Johnson, while journeymen cornerbacks LeQuan Lewis and Danny Gorrer will be the nickel and dime cornerbacks, despite barely playing previously in their career. The Bucs' secondary has been getting abused by opposing cornerbacks, and with road games against Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan still on the ledger this could be the death blow for Tampa Bay's playoff hopes.
At least this suspension should give Eric Wright some time to let a lingering Achilles injury heal, as the injury kept him out of Sunday's game against the Falcons and has forced him to leave several other games early. Wright will be eligible to return for the season finale against the Atlanta Falcons, as well as any playoff games, barring further suspensions. Wright will likely lose around $1.8 million due to this suspension, which is without pay.
Wright released the following statement:
It was announced today by the NFL that I am being suspended for four games. This is a result of taking Adderall at the end of July for health issues I was experiencing. I am extremely disappointed that the suspension was upheld at my appeal. I apologize to the Glazer family, G.M. Mark Dominik, Coach Schiano and the entire Tampa Bay Buccanees organization, my teammates, our great fans, and my family who have stood by me through this entire process. I will continue to prepare myself and look forward to rejoining the team.