NFL reinstates embattled Cowboys DE Randy Gregory from substance-abuse suspension

Jason Owens
·2 min read

The NFL has reinstated Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory.

Gregory had been serving an indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He applied for reinstatement in March.

NFL Network first reported the news. Gregory confirmed the decision on social media in a statement thanking NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his family, among others.

‘A day of celebration’

Gregory’s history of suspensions

Gregory hasn’t played since 2018 as he sat the entire 2019 season because of the suspension. Prior to missing last season, Gregory missed 30 games due to previous substance-abuse suspensions since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2015.

Last year’s suspension arrived after a conditional reinstatement from a previous 18-month suspension. He told ESPN last year that he’s struggled with depression and attended a Texas rehabilitation clinic in 2017.

Gregory reportedly started passing drug tests in 2019 prior to applying for reinstatement. He remained barred for the season but maintained the support of the Cowboys, who awarded him a contract extension in April 2019 after his latest suspension was announced.

He returns to an NFL with a relaxed drug policy that calls for fines but not suspensions for marijuana violations.

Gregory thanked commissioner Roger Goodell after being provided another NFL chance. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)
Randy Gregory thanked commissioner Roger Goodell after being provided another NFL chance. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)

Cowboys rolled dice when they drafted Gregory

Gregory was considered a top-10 talent coming out of Nebraska in 2015. He fell to the 60th pick in the second round because of the risks associated with his off-field concerns. Gregory tested positive for marijuana at the NFL combine and entered the NFL in stage one of the league’s substance abuse program.

Gregory, 27 has played 28 games over the course of five seasons since joining the NFL, tallying seven sacks and 23 quarterback hits. He’ll join a pass rush anchored by Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith, who was also recently reinstated following a long-term suspension for myriad off-field issues including a domestic violence conviction.

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