The NFL is always on guard for players trying to be sneaky and get that little extra advantage over the competition. Performance enhancing drugs is a no go for just about every sporting organization on the planet.
Despite players knowing the risks of taking it as suspensions and fines follow if caught, some still do it. While we don't fully understand why they do this, it appears that the rewards outweigh the risks associated with taking PEDs.
Numerous players have been caught and suspended by the NFL for violating its policy, which carries a six-game suspension.
Here are five players that have been suspended by the NFL for using PED's.
#5 - Deandre Hopkins
The superstar receiver is the latest to be hit with a PED suspension as he violated the league's policy in May of this year. As a result, the Cardinals will be without their biggest weapon for the first six games of the season.
This is not ideal as Arizona is entering this season with huge question marks over its offense along with Kyler Murray. With Hopkins in and out of the team last season, the Cardinals looked like a shell of themselves. Given that the star receiver will miss six games straight off the bat, Arizona would not want to start the season poorly.
#4 - Jordan Willis
The San Francisco 49ers edge rusher was suspended for six games in June of 2021 for violating the league's policy. Willis was re-signed by San Francisco in March of that year but was then hit with the suspension.
Willis was involved in ten games with the 49ers in 2021 and registered three sacks to go with 15 combined tackles. The 27-year-old looked to put his indecreson behind him as he looked to make an impact for the 49ers.
He did, as he blocked a punt in the fourth quarter of the playoff game against the Packers, which San Francisco would go on to win.
5 NFL players who were suspended for using PEDs continued.
#3 - Josh Gordon
A player of ridiculous talent, only to be consistently interrupted by numerous incidents. Gordon was suspended for two games back in 2013 for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, although looking at his stats from that year, you wouldn't know it.
He finished with an astonishing 1,646 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Many thought that was the end of it, but Gordon would then miss the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons for the same thing.
He then bounced around the league from Cleveland to Seattle and is now with the Chiefs as he looks to get his life back on track.
#2 - Julian Edelman
The Patriots superstar receiver was banned for four games of the 2018 NFL season after he was found to have violated the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. The receiver missed the entire 2017 season due to an ACL tear in his knee.
Edelman's suspension reared its ugly head as the Patriots would win the Super Bowl that year with the receiver winning the Super Bowl MVP award. Many thought that Edelman should not have even been on the field because of his PED use.
#1 - Brian Cushing
Life comes at you fast and after an impressive rookie season that saw him win the NFL Rookie of the Year award in 2009, the following year, Cushing was suspended for violating the league's PED policy. He was then suspended for 10 games following a second incident regarding PEDs in 2017.
Like Edelman, he would miss the first four games of an NFL season. He returned to play the remaining 12 games of the season, finishing with 1.5 sacks. The following season, he played all 16 games and totalled four sacks. He would retire from the NFL in 2018 after playing nine years with the Texans.