The Buccaneers announced on Monday that cornerback Eric Wright has been suspended four games for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. Wright, in a statement released through the team, confirmed it was Adderall.
On October 28 Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported that Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright was facing a suspension after testing positive for the drug Adderall. As the month of November passed, some began to wonder about the accuracy of the report by Glazer.
However, on Monday, head coach Greg Schiano announced during his afternoon press conference that Wright indeed will be suspended for four games after violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
Wright signed as free agent with the Buccaneers last March, inking a five-year, $37.5 million dollar deal. Wright missed part of OTAs earlier this spring and PewterReport.com was able to confirm that Wright was suffering from an undisclosed illness.
In Wright’s statement to the press released minutes after Schiano’s announcement, he referenced the illness as the reason for taking Adderall.
“It was announced today by the NFL that I am being suspended for four games. This is a result of taking Adderall at the end of July for health issues I was experiencing. I am extremely disappointed that the suspension was upheld at my appeal.
“My agent and attorneys have only received the decision this afternoon, and they will be discussing it with me in the immediate future.
“I apologize to the Glazer family, General Manager Mark Dominik, Coach Schiano and the entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization, my teammates, our great fans, and my family who have stood by me through this entire process.
“I will continue to prepare myself and look forward to rejoining the team.”
Schiano said he doesn’t think that Adderall usage is a problem inside the Buccaneers locker room despite Wright being the second Tampa Bay player (Aqib Talib) who has been suspended after testing positive.
You can never be certain about anything. I’m not one of the players,” Schiano said. “This is a widespread issue throughout the National Football League right now. It’s certainly not Tampa exclusive, so I hope we educate our guys. We talk to them about it quite a bit.
“You just do your best and then you have to trust the guys you brought here. That’s where Mark and I just keep going back to the same thing. We’re going to get guys that are the guys we believe fit into what we’re going to do and we’re going to educate them and coach them and help them grow and that’s our plan. It’s like raising kids. It’s never going to be 100 percent, that’s for sure, but you just do your best.”
Schiano went on to talk about his feelings on Wright’s suspension.
“I’m disappointed. I’m just disappointed that he’s going to be suspended for four weeks as part of our team,” Schiano said. “But just like anything else, it’s like someone is injured. You move on and figure out a way to put your best 11 out there and then when you go sub package you put your best new 11 with an extra DB and when you go six DBs, we’ll just keep working through it and we’ll get it figured out but I’m disappointed that this has happened inside our organization and as I said we’re going to do everything in our power to keep educating and work so that this isn’t an issue moving forward.”
Schiano said the Bucs are now prepared to move on.
“That’s life in the NFL. Just get ready,” Schiano said. “We’re going to practice and meet and prepare and go out to Denver and play the best game we’ve played all year. Where that stacks up against Denver and Peyton Manning, I can only control half of that, but we’re going to do our best to make sure that we’re at our best.
With Wright now suspended (he would be eligible to return in Week 17) the Buccaneers secondary will resemble the one that took the field on Sunday against the Falcons.
The Adderall issue has exploded throughout the NFL in the last couple years, with a number of athletes – in all sports – being caught using the prescription medication.
Besides Wright, the Patriots also announced on Monday that Jermaine Cunningham has also been suspended four games for violating the league’s ban. Cunningham and Wright join former Bucs CB Aqib Talib, and Seattle Seahawks cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman as NFL players suspended within the past six weeks.
Last month PewterReport.com spoke to an agent who explained the Adderall phenomenon.
“First of all, this spike we see in Adderall is just a small percentage of players who are actually using it,” The agent said. “It is convenient to use the ADHD as an excuse why players are testing positive. Not only in society is Adderall being abused but all across sports. Are there players who have a legitimate need for it? Of course, but nowhere in the numbers we see (who are taking it). It is extremely easy to get both with and without a prescription. Which make it even more mind-boggling that so many players are getting popped without a prescription.”
PewterReport.com will have a full story from the agent about the drug Adderall and some of the reasons it is being abused later tonight.
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