We never dreamed that there would be such an uproar regarding the story of an NFL player who had an image of himself land on a family member’s Facebook page. The player in question doesn’t have a high degree of name recognition, and we badly underestimated the degree of curiousity it would create.
We were concerned initially about posting the photo and identifying the player because our information was based only on our source, and because it wasn’t obvious that the player was who we were told he was. We have since obtained information from two more sources, so we’re now confident that we can post the photo without fear of getting the NFLPA treatment in a court of law.
But we post the photo and identify the player with this disclaimer — the picture appeared on the Facebook page of his younger sister, and she has since claimed that she Photoshopped it. (An if it’s truly Photoshopped, then we should fire Taco Bill and hire her.)
We’re also told that the player is not in trouble with his team. (That said, another source said that the picture was taken down only after the team became aware of it.)
The player in question is Eagles cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu, a 2008 fourth-round draft pick who tore an ACL in January and who has been shelved for his rookie year. He was regarded as a potential first-round selection before being injured, even with pending criminal charges arising from the theft of an Xbox (the old kind, not a 360). He reached a plea deal in the days leading up to the draft, but the arrangement cratered when his brother, also charged in the incident, refused to accept it.
Here’s the photo. He’s the guy on the right with his hand over his mouth, Photoshopped or otherwise. (And as several readers have pointed out, the powder apparently are crushed up pills — most likely aspirin — and not cocaine. We’ll defer to Matt Jones of the Jags for a final ruling.)