Buffalo Bills right tackle Seantrel Henderson has officially been suspended 10 games for violating the league’s drug policy, according to an announcement from the NFL’s wire service:
NFL announces that Bills LT Seantrel Henderson has been suspended 10 games.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) November 29, 2016
The suspension, which was looming for more than a week before being confirmed, is a result of another failed drug test by the tackle. The ongoing series of incidents has turned into a back-and-forth that may become a legal battle, due to Henderson’s unique circumstances: As a football player with Crohn’s disease, he has a doctor’s recommendation to treat the pain associated with his illness using medical marijuana, something legal in his states of residence but federally illegal and against the NFL’s drug policy.
This suspension comes from a third failed drug test, making it count for ten full games. Henderson already served a four game suspension earlier this season for a second failed test, and failing an initial test (which happened at an unknown date, and could have come at any point from Henderson’s medical testing during the NFL Combine through his major flare-up last season) was what got him onto the stricter testing schedule to begin with.
Buffalo’s official statement reacting to the news was (predictably) bland, giving no hints as to whether the team would support Henderson if he tried to appeal the suspension (or sue the league).
With Henderson back off of the roster, the Bills are again looking at Cyrus Kouandjio as their only backup tackle. The Bills have Michael Ola, who has already filled in this season, on the practice squad, and they may use a promotion to bolster the depth on the offensive line.