Josh Freeman Enters Drug ProgramSeptember 30th, 2013
Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman has entered a drug program. When this happened is unclear.
The program is not listed as a rehab program, but a drug program (you can play with the semantics). Specifically, the program is called a “stage one.” More information from Mortensen:
Freeman has not had any incidents that have placed him in jeopardy of suspension, such as a positive test of a banned street-drug substance, sources said. Thus, Freeman is in relatively good standing under the program, sources added.
Freeman’s stage one status also would not necessarily mean he has tested positive for a banned substance even though he has been subject to random or reasonable cause testing, as deemed necessary by the medical director who oversees the program. A player can be placed in stage one for a variety of reasons, including behavioral causes. The medical director determines the length of stage one status.
There are three stages to the substance abuse program that contain a variety of corrective measures, including random testing, treatment, fines and suspensions.
Also, per Mortensen, Freeman has obtained permission to use an unknown prescription that is otherwise on the NFL’s banned substance list.
Mike Florio, of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk.com, goes a little deeper to explain that a missed drug test (oversleeping again?) could have landed Freeman in the program.
It means that Freeman has done something — either a failed drug test, a missed test, or some other violation of the substance-abuse policy — to land in the lowest level of the program
Florio also reports the NFL players association is an uproar regarding this leak of Freeman’s status to Mortensen. All things drug related are considered highly confidential by the league. For example, the media wasn’t told why Aqib Talib and Eric Wright were suspended in any official capacity by the NFL or the Buccaneers. Fans were left to take the letdown cornerbacks’ word for it.