GREEN BAY -- Though it’s unlikely to reduce his four-game NFL suspension, Mike Neal said earlier this week that he now has permission to take the medication responsible for him testing positive for a performance enhancing drug in March.
Following the Green Bay Packers’ first practice of a three-day minicamp on Monday, the third-year defensive end said he would not be facing any punishment if he were to test positive for the drug Adderall again.
Neal said last week that he had been prescribed Adderall to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) but didn’t inform the team or the league about it in advance. That led to the four-game suspension, which is just the latest setback for Neal, who has played in just nine regular-season games due to various injuries his first two seasons.
Neal lost his first appeal and said Monday he’s still trying to determine if there is a way to appeal it again. A glimmer of hope for him came when New York Giants running back Andre Brown and Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann each had their suspensions reduced earlier this spring.
Brown was also suspended for taking Adderall but succeeded in having the four-game ban overturned after proving that he had been taking the medication since 2009 for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And Hartmann, who has attention deficit disorder (ADD), and like Neal failed to notify the NFL about taking the prescribed medication, had his suspension reduced from four games to three.
If Neal’s four-game suspension remains intact, he’d be eligible to play starting in Week 5 at Indianapolis.
-- Zach Heilprin
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