New York Jets defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd received an unfortunate 26th birthday present Tuesday from the NFL, but at least it was one that he knew was coming.
Shepherd is suspended six games for violating the NFL’s Performance Enhancing Drug Policy, he failed a drug test on June 27 and July 25.
The previous third-round pick is in his second year in the league and suffered a groin and shoulder injury over the summer which put him behind in offseason workouts. The injuries resulted in a herniated disk and a need for sports hernia surgery.
Shepherd told NFL.com that he looked to PEDs for recovery, not for a competitive edge.
“All that was going on, I was coming off of a subpar season and new coaching staff, new playbook, new everything,” Shepherd said. “In my mindset, I didn’t feel very confident with how everything had gone thus far. In my mind, I was so prepared to come into this offseason and have a successful offseason and train very hard. I felt that because of these limitations, I wasn’t going to be able to do that. I made a rash decision, an unwise decision and a selfish decision to look to certain PEDs in order to help me with that recovery process so I would be ready to go.”
The defensive lineman is eligible to rejoin the active roster for Week 9.