NFL clears James Harrison, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers

Shutdown Corner

The NFL cleared Green Bay Packers linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews, and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who were accused in an Al Jazeera America hidden camera report of performance-enhancing drug use.

That the players were cleared isn’t a surprise. There was no other evidence and no failed drug tests. The league said it found “no credible evidence” that the players “were provided with or used substances prohibited under the NFL-NFLPA Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances.”

Clay Matthews (AP)
Clay Matthews (AP)
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A fourth player, former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Mike Neal, remains under review, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Peyton Manning, who is retired and was named in the report, was cleared in July. 

The case became a big story earlier this summer when the players (aside from Manning, who spoke earlier this offseason) sent affidavits to the NFL via the NFLPA saying they wouldn’t meet with the league for an interview, and their affidavit would be their statement. The NFL refused the affidavits and threatened suspension if they didn’t talk. The players relented, talked to the NFL and Harrison, Peppers and Matthews were cleared on Wednesday.

On Instagram, Harrison posted a picture of 16 different Internet headlines from the story that the NFL cleared him, with this message:

“It’s only breaking news cause you thought I was guilty. I have my father’s name and I have WORKED for EVERYTHING I have since DAY ONE. ???????????? #putsomerespekwhenyoumentionmyname”

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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