Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller has been suspended six games for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy, the player announced Monday. Hours later, the same thing happened to one of his teammates, cornerback Bradley Roby.
Fuller, one of the 4-7 team’s few bright spots this year, insisted the violation was due to a medical professional mistakenly prescribing a medication allowed by the NFL’s drug policy.
“Earlier this year, I sought treatment from a medical professional who prescribed medication that he believed to be permitted under the NFL’s drug policy,” Fuller said in his post. “As it turns out, my trust in this professional was misplaced because this medication was NOT a permitted substance under the NFL Policy on Performance Enhancing Substances.”
Fuller apologized to the Texans and their fans, and pledged to return “better than ever” in 2021.
Roby hit the same notes with his own statement, apologizing for the violation, saying he unknowingly used a banned substance and pledging to return next year.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) December 1, 2020
The suspension will end a career year for Fuller, whose five seasons in Houston have been defined by huge games and intermittent absences from the field. As for Roby, this will prematurely end the first year of a three-year, $12 million deal he signed in March.
Another setback for the Texans
Fuller was coming off one of the best games of his career on Thanksgiving, racking up 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. For the season, Fuller hit career highs in receiving yards with 879 and touchdowns with eight, and was well on pace for the first 1,000-yard season of his career.
The Texans weren’t expected to make much noise for the rest of a season that had already seen the firing of head coach Bill O’Brien, but Fuller’s suspension presents a significant blow to the team’s passing game.
DeAndre Hopkins is long gone (and still looking like one of the best receivers in football). Randall Cobb is on injured reserve with a toe injury. Kenny Stills was cut. And now, the Texans won’t be seeing their leading receiver again this season.
The only wide receiver left on Houston’s roster with more than 50 yards this season is Brandin Cooks, who will likely get even more looks from Deshaun Watson. Keke Coutee, (38 yards), Steven Mitchell (0 yards) and rookie Isaiah Coulter (0 yards) are the remaining members of the team’s wide receiver corps.
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