Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

NFL refuses pot exemption for ailing Bills OT

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The NFL suspended Bills offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson for 10 games for what the player's agent said stems from his client using marijuana to relieve the effects of Crohn's disease.

The Bills announced that the league notified them Tuesday of Henderson's suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. It's Henderson's second suspension this year after he served a four-game ban to start the season.

Henderson's agent, Brian Fettner, called the league's decision "heartbreaking" and added he cannot appeal the suspension because the NFL doesn't allow an exemption for medical marijuana use.

"His situation is unique, but the drug policy doesn't line up with the uniqueness. It's disappointing," Fettner said.

"The reality is, the NFL's position has been if you need medical marijuana then you're too sick to play. But that's just not the case for Seantrel Henderson."

Henderson will sit out the final five games of the season, and the suspension will carry on either into the playoffs or next season.

Buffalo plays at Oakland on Sunday.

The Bills also placed defensive tackle Corbin Bryant and receiver Walt Powell on the season-ending injured reserve list. Bryant has missed three games with a shoulder injury, and Powell hurt his left ankle in Sunday's win over the Jaguars.

PETERSON HEALING: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson took another step in his recovery from knee surgery. Peterson, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in late September, was spotted running short sprints while his Vikings teammates practiced. Head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman watched closely before the two walked inside toward the locker room.

LONDON TIMES: Starting next year, the NFL will stop playing London games separate and apart from the usual 1 p.m. Sunday window, the Wall Street Journal reported. London games have been kicking off at 9:30 a.m.

BROWNS: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was cleared by doctors to play again this season but still needs coach Hue Jackson's blessing. Griffin passed a final medical test on his injured left shoulder and can now take full contact, paving the way for the quarterback to play Dec. 11.

PANTHERS: Two-time All-Pro center Ryan Kalil and his primary backup Gino Gradkowski went on injured reserve, further weakening an offensive line that has been decimated by injuries this season.

SAINTS: Receiver Brandin Cooks, who did not have a pass thrown his way Sunday, is growing frustrated with his usage, thinking that he should be the primary option, ESPN reported. Cooks is second on the team in catches (51), yards (736) and touchdowns (six).

STEELERS: The team wants star receiver Antonio Brown to stop being penalized for excessive celebrations. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said in a radio appearance that the team discussed this with Brown after Sunday's flag for a choreographed celebration against the Colts. "He knows, we all know, Coach (Mike) Tomlin brought it up (Sunday), that is a huge penalty and we can't do that," Roethlisberger said. "We put our kick coverage team in a bad situation and we can't have that, and AB knows that."

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