Friday’s evening news dump wasn’t kind to the Dallas Cowboys. After playing in the season opener against Tampa Bay, star offensive lineman La’el Collins was handed a five-game suspension, holding him out until October.
Collins had just returned from a neck injury in time to play against the Super Bowl champions. According to NFL Media league insider Ian Rapoport, Collins missed a drug test from the league, prompting the suspension.
Peter Schaffer, Collins’ agent, is not at all happy with how the league has handled things. He says that the league hasn’t honored the appeal process, which he says isn’t final, and that the suspension should not have been announced at this time.
“We are extremely disappointed in how the NFL has handled this entire matter from trampling on Mr. Collins rights to prematurely releasing the information knowing a timely appeal was filed to intentionally misleading the court at the hearing,” the agent said, via ProFootballTalk. “The extent and effort the NFL went to to accomplish its ends is appalling.”
Source: While it seems unlikely to succeed, lawyers for #Cowboys OT La’El Collins continue to appeal on his behalf, arguing the NFL policy allows for a fine but not a suspension for a player who has only failed to appear for required drug testing.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) September 10, 2021
Pending the appeal, if Collins begins the suspension immediately, he’s set to miss games at the Los Angeles Chargers, vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, and at the New England Patriots.
He would then be eligible to return for a Halloween game at the Minnesota Vikings.
The 28-year old La’el Collins has been with the Dallas Cowboys since 2015. He’s appeared in 63 games for Dallas during that time, starting 62.