The NFL has a drug problem – and no, it has nothing to do with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who will miss the entire 2014 season after testing positive for marijuana.
“The NFL spends a lot of time deciding what can and cannot go into their players’ bodies, and we think of that as a good thing,” Bleacher Report NFL writer Michael Schottey said on The MoJo Show. “We think of that almost as if the NFL (is a) doting or loving parent (and) keeping all the bad stuff away form the players. But when it suits their purposes – when it improves the NFL’s bottom line – they will put absolutely anything into one of those player’s bodies.”
That includes Toradol, which many players call “Vitamin T.”
“They will literally pump you full of enough of that to ground a mule so that you can get back on a football field and you can help your football team win games and you can help improve the bottom line and the profitability of the franchise,” Schottey said. “But the interesting thing about Toradol is it is the replacement for the wonder drug of yesteryear, which was cortisone, which everyone thought was the most revolutionary drug around. But (then) they (realized) it was doing more harm than good. It was tearing up the tissue of the people they were injecting it into. And we really have no idea what the long-term effects of Toradol are, but we do know that the NFL has no qualms – no qualms – about sticking it in any player who might possibly need it.”
One of those players was former Bears offensive tackle Keith Van Horne, who played for Chicago from 1981-93.
“He went to his doctor and got a legitimate medical prescription for an injury he had currently and got in trouble,” Schottey explained. “‘Berated’ was the word that was used in the lawsuit. What trainers were doing – and this happens around the league – is before the year, they basically buy (drugs in) bulk (because they know they’re going to need a lot and they want to get it as cheaply as possible). Because Keith Van Horne went to this doctor and got a legitimate prescription, it triggered an FDA inquiry basically asking what the heck’s going on with Keith Van Horne. Is he a drug addict? And the answer is no. Keith Van Horne was not a drug addict – until the NFL helped turn him into one. It’s really the NFL that is the worst drug addict in all of this.”
There’s also the story of former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson, who played for Denver from 2003-08. Jackson suffered a mild hamstring strain and needed just one thing for recovery: rest. Instead, he got daily injections of three different drugs and was back on the field before he was ready.
“The NFL – and its own addiction of getting these players back on the field against sound medical advice – (is) the real drug problem here,” Schottey said. “We can talk all day long about the poor choices being made by individual players, but until the league does something about its own enabling atmosphere, we’re not going to get any better from the NFL. And quite frankly, I don’t know how the NFL (can ask) better from its players.”