Report: Cowboys' Randy Gregory suspended indefinitely for substance abuse

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/dallas/" data-ylk="slk:Dallas Cowboys">Dallas Cowboys</a> defensive end <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/28448/" data-ylk="slk:Randy Gregory">Randy Gregory</a> walks the sideline during a preseason NFL Football game against the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/cincinnati/" data-ylk="slk:Cincinnati Bengals">Cincinnati Bengals</a> in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP)
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory walks the sideline during a preseason NFL Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP)

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been suspended indefinitely for violating the substance abuse policy, per reports Tuesday. Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news.

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Gregory, 26, fell in the 2015 NFL draft due to a failed drug test and has had issues with substance abuse ever since. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the policy and later was suspended 10 more games for a second failed test.

He has played 28 games over four years with the Cowboys, only three seasons during which he was active.

Gregory given ‘conditional reinstatement’

The NFL gave the defensive end a conditional reinstatement in July 2018 following what ended up being an 18-month suspension for multiple failed drug tests. The league’s statement noted “continued compliance” with the substance abuse policy and arrangements for clinical resources in Dallas.

He reportedly suffered a “substance-related” relapse the following month.

A projected top-10 pick, Gregory fell to Dallas at No. 60 overall after the first failed drug test on the NFL’s radar. He played two games in 2016 before a suspension hit, then the issues in 2017.

Gregory dealt with depression in 2017

Gregory told ESPN in a story published two months ago that he dealt with depression and mental health issues in 2017. That year he attended a renowned rehab clinic in Texas during the summer but told ESPN he spiraled late in the year.

“I was just in a real bad place,” he said.

With help he admitted he was an addict. He surrounded himself by those who spoke on his behalf to the NFL, per ESPN, and was eventually reinstated.

A hit to the Cowboys’ defense

Last season was a breakout year for the defensive end who had seemed to put his past behind him.

He had six sacks, 15 quarterback hits and 25 tackles, the largest outputs of his career. It was done over 14 games, another high after playing 12 games his rookie season and only two in 2016.

He will be out for 2019 at the very least and his return to the team isn’t guaranteed. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones spoke with reporters earlier Tuesday, before news of Gregory’s suspension.

Jones said Gregory has had his challenges, and will continue to have them.

“We’re just going to keep working and cheering for him. ... I think he’s just got to take the next step both on and off the field,” Jones said, per Jon Machota of the Dallas News.

Jones told reporters in his mind it’s always good to add defensive line depth, per tweets by Machota, which will be more of a focus now for the Cowboys in the draft and free agency.

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