By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are embroiled in yet another controversy, so naturally, there are plenty of people sharpening their knives and dusting off their microscopes. But it’s hard to blame anyone for being, at the very least, curious about Jones’ reported bad reaction to synthetic marijuana that led him to seek help at the Foxboro Police station near his home.
Everyone knows that if this were any other team, it would still be a controversy – but people likely wouldn’t be calling for the man’s head. Assuming Jones is not already admitted into the NFL’s drug program, he will not be suspended for this alleged transgression – not for Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff, nor for anytime next season, or ever.
First-time offenders are only entered into Stage One of the NFL’s drug program, where he would be evaluated and likely given a treatment plan. If he were to violate that plan, then he would be facing a potential fine and/or suspension.
This is all assuming the Jones is not already in Stage One, which is not something he or the league needs to disclose. But common sense would dictate that something like a drug offense would be impossible to hide.
Synthetic marijuana is not explicitly banned by the NFL, but Jones could be entered into the drug program under the “Behavior” clause. Since Jones was not arrested, this likely won’t affect him under the Personal Conduct policy.
Still … you knew this was coming. People who desperately want the Patriots weakened calling for Jones to be suspended for the Chiefs game. Not even because they’re afraid of the Patriots, just eager to see them punished.
Patriots schadenfreude is real and it’s spectacular.
Sorry, fellas. Jones isn’t getting suspended for this weekend. Even if the league does have grounds for suspension, it’s going to take more time than that. Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount didn’t get suspended for their weed offenses until this season, a year after it happened. And those two were actually arrested.
Surely, there will be plenty of fans who want Jones punished because of the uniform he wears, just because. They will have to just keep dreaming.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.