Packers defensive end Mike Neal lost the appeal of his four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, but his adamant that he wasn’t suspended for taking a performance-enhancing drug.
Neal told Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin that he was suspended because of a technicality in the rules, not because he took steroids or human growth hormone. Neal claims he took medicine prescribed by a doctor and didn’t realize that, under the rules of the policy, he had to turn details of the prescription to the Packers. Under the terms of the policy, players can take medication containing otherwise banned substances as long as they have proper documentation.
The NFL did not get back to a message from Imig about Neal’s contention.
None of that changes the fact that Neal will be suspended for the first four games of next season. As mentioned up top, he lost his appeal and that means the Packers will plan for life without Neal.
If they find enough talent on the defensive line in his absence, Neal, who has been injured and disappointing since coming to the team as a second-round pick in 2009, might find it hard to work his way back into the rotation.