Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson has been suspended for 10 games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Henderson also served a four-game suspension at the start of the season for violating the policy.
However, Henderson’s most recent suspension is causing a stir, because, as Deadspin noted, Henderson tested positive for marijuana, which he uses to treat his Crohn’s disease.
According to the Buffalo News, Henderson was suspended “at least three times” while in college for using marijuana. Henderson, though, recently said that he hadn’t used it recreationally in years and only began re-using it when doctors recommended it as a treatment for Crohn’s disease.
“I hadn’t even been thinking about marijuana until it was brought up to me by a doctor,” Henderson told the Buffalo News. “Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve been in the program. I got drug tested three times a week. There’s no recreational use. There’s none of that.”
In January, Henderson reportedly had over two feet of infected intestine removed from his small and large intestines. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle detailed his brutal recovery in November:
“For nearly four months he had to wear an ileostomy bag that was attached through a hole near his waist, and every hour the bag had to be emptied, meaning Henderson was never able to get a good night’s sleep.
“‘I was depressed, I was down, I was insecure about myself,’ he recalled. ‘I had the bag, not being able to use the bathroom for three or four months. I couldn’t do anything I wanted to do, I lost all that weight, I was very unhealthy. I had no appetite like it used to be, so it really had my mind not all the way together. After I had the second surgery, and I started getting back into working out and things like that, things started being on the up and up for me.'”
Henderson had another surgery in April to reattach and reconfigure his intestines and had to re-gain up to 50 lb. while following a strict diet.
Henderson’s agent told NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, “There is zero allowable medical exemption for this per the NFL; however, there clearly should be.” A second source told Rapoport, “He needs cannabis. You can’t take pain killers with the way his intestines are.”
Henderson appealed the suspension, but it was denied. According to Rapoport, he may pursue legal action to fight the suspension.
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