For the first four games of the 2014 season, the Philadelphia Eagles will be without linebacker Jake Knott. The linebacker was handed a four game suspension by the NFL for violation of the performance-enhancing substances policy that the league has in place.
With all of these policies in place, players need to be extremely aware of what is in the products they use. A simple tablet of an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol could set off a positive test for a substance banned by the league.
Knott was made aware of the positive test and owned up to his mistake, admitting in a statement that he has been taking a nutritional supplement.
"Several weeks ago, I was shocked to learn that I tested positive for a stimulant that is banned by the NFL. I have never knowingly ingested a banned substance, but like most players, I take nutritional supplements. Unfortunately, I now know that supplements are not regulated and thus may contain things that are not listed on the label."
While most players may take nutritional supplements, the easiest way to make sure you are not taking anything that has a banned substance in it is to talk with the team physicians. They will usually have a list of what is allowed by the league.
Even though he was handed a four game suspension, Knott will be allowed to take part in offseason activities, training camp and preseason games.
"During the suspension, I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to contribute immediately upon my return. I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, my family and fans for the impact of my mistake on the team."
Instead of trying to fight the suspension, Knott is owning up to his mistake and will learn from it. His mistake is also something other players can learn from and take immediate action to change to supplements allowed by the league. In today's game with many policies in place surrounding performance-enhancing substances, players should be smarter about what they use and not risk being suspended.Tags: Football, Jake Knott, Linebacker, NFL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, suspension