The Bills will finish the season, and begin next season, without tackle Seantrel Henderson.
The NFL has announced that Henderson has been suspended 10 games for his latest violation of the substance-abuse policy. It’s believed that the suspension arises from Henderson’s use of marijuana to treat a severe case of Crohn’s disease.
If Henderson continues to use marijuana to treat his Crohn’s disease, he’s destined to test positive again — and to be suspended again. His next suspension will be a permanent banishment, with the ability to apply for reinstatement after a year.
Henderson reportedly is considering litigation to challenge the NFL’s continued insistence on blocking his ability to use marijuana. The legal theories he would pursue aren’t known; the federal Americans with Disabilities Act would be an impediment because, under federal law, marijuana use remains illegal for all purposes. New York law, however, could give Henderson an avenue for pursuing relief, if he can find a way around the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Because the “no discrimination” provision of the CBA doesn’t specifically articulate discrimination based on a disability, Henderson may be able to sue in state court.
However it’s resolved, Henderson’s situation cries out for a better outcome than what he has gotten. Crohn’s disease can be debilitating; if marijuana is his only viable form of treatment, the NFL should consider pressing pause on its father-knows-best routine.