Kellen Winslow Jr. Suspended 4 Games for PED Use
UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 13, at 2:10 p.m. ET
Kellen Winslow Jr. released a statement on Twitter:
I'll be vindicated in the future and my name will be cleared. Be back with my team soon. Go Jets!— Kellen Winslow Jr. (@KellenWinslowJr) October 13, 2013
---End of update---
NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal broke the news on Friday, while Seth Walder of the New York Daily News noted that Winslow can return on Nov. 4, the day after the Jets play the New Orleans Saints:
NFL suspends Kellen Winslow four games for PEDs.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) October 11, 2013
Winslow can return Monday, Nov. 4 after Saints game. #nyj— Seth Walder (@SethWalderNYDN) October 11, 2013
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport provided quotes from Winslow, who commented on his suspension:
Kellen Winslow: "It came as a huge surprise to me when I learned I tested positive for a banned substance." Says he doesn't know the source— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 11, 2013
Winslow: "I do not take supplements that list banned ingredients. NFL policy is very strict, so I am accountable." Apologized to all parties— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 11, 2013
This came after ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini reported that Winslow was already doubtful for Week 6's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium:
Rex presser: Out for game -- Holmes, Milliner. Doubtful -- Winslow. DNP today, not because of knee. Excused. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 11, 2013
However, Cimini did hint at the suspension, noting that Winslow did not practice Friday, and not because of a knee injury.
How will the Jets fare without Kellen Winslow in the next four games?
Winslow logged a team-high 17 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns through the first five games of the 2013 season. He had established himself as a key contributor after registering just one catch last season as a member of the New England Patriots.
The loss looms largest for rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who clearly relied on Winslow to be one of his go-to targets in a passing game that was already limited in terms of weapons.
As Cimini pointed out above, the Jets will be without their best receiver in Santonio Holmes for Sunday's contest, facing a Pittsburgh defense that ranks fifth in the NFL against the pass.
That puts the onus on Smith to continue his rapid progression and creates a void that must be filled by second-string tight end Jeff Cumberland, who has averaged an impressive 19.9 yards on seven catches and scored two touchdowns himself.
When Winslow is eligible to return, the Jets will be entering their Week 10 bye after facing the Steelers, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Saints, respectively.
With such a brutal schedule and the absence of a dynamic receiving tight end, it will be interesting to see if the surprising 3-2 Jets can sustain their momentum through the midway point of the season.
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