The lack of a traditional Scouting Combine helped the ongoing players in one specific way.
They weren’t subjected to testing for marijuana and other drugs covered by the substance-abuse policy. Per the NFL, players who went to Indianapolis for a medical check received only a PED test.
The substance-abuse policy allows teams to request substance-abuse tests for specific players, but why would any team do that? With suspensions no longer on the table for positive tests, teams don’t have to worry that players who smoke something other than tobacco will be unavailable to play based on positive drug tests.
With players who travel to Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine knowing that they’ll be tested for marijuana, it’s less of a drug test and more of an intelligence test — along with a minimal test of will power. Players who know they’ll be tested in Indianapolis in late February need to know to stop smoking roughly one month earlier, and they need to actually stay away from it.