The Miami Dolphins will start the year without a key contributor on defense after Reshad Jones was suspended for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Adam Caplan of ESPN first reported the news:
The 26-year-old safety showed remorse for the failed drug test, explaining that it was accidental, via a statement released by the NFL Players Association:
I recently learned from the NFL that I tested positive for substance that is banned under the NFL performance enhancing substances policy. I worked closely with the union to investigate what happened, and I learned that a supplement I took caused the positive test. I deeply regret not investigating the supplement carefully before I took it, and I will never again take a supplement without having it checked. I am very sorry for the effect of my mistake on my teammates and coaches. I apologize to them, the Dolphins organization, and fans. During the time away from the team, I will participate in an intense training program so that I can help my team as soon as I return.
The Dolphins released head coach Joe Philbin's thoughts in the team press release:
I was very disappointed when we found out about Reshad's suspension. When we talked to him, Reshad pledged to learn from this situation. Our secondary as a unit, including Reshad, has performed well this offseason and I have complete confidence in the group as we progress through training camp and into the regular season.
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 points out how much money Jones stands to lose thanks to this incident:
Quick math says Reshad Jones, who signed a four-year, $30m deal last year, stands to lose about $1 million for his suspension.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 8, 2014
Meanwhile, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald notes that this is not the first problem for the Dolphins defense this offseason:
So Dolphins will be without No. 3 overall 2013 pick (Jordan) and safety earning $30 M over 4 years (Jones) because of PEDs, for 1st 4 games.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 8, 2014
Jones has been a key part of the Miami defense since being selected in the fifth round of the 2010 draft. He has started all 16 games in each of the past two seasons and finished second on the team with 107 tackles last year.
Obviously, the Dolphins will miss this type of production in the first quarter of the season, with the team having two divisional games in that time.
James Walker of ESPN.com notes how the team will try to replace the starter:
Based on training camp it looks like backup S Jimmy Wilson should get the first crack at replacing Reshad Jones to start the regular season.— James Walker (@JamesWalkerNFL) August 8, 2014
Jimmy Wilson has played sparingly over the past three seasons but has the ability to keep the defense together while it waits for Jones to return from suspension.
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