ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills right tackle Seantrel Henderson was been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Source: Bills OT Seantrel Henderson appealing suspension, citing marijuana use for Crohn’s disease
The Bills announced the suspension Friday, and Henderson’s agent, Brian Fettner, told The Associated Press his client has dropped his plans to appeal the ruling.
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In revealing Henderson tested positive for marijuana, Fettner called it “futile” to launch an appeal, even though he said his client was using the drug for medicinal purposes to relieve the effects of Crohn’s disease.
Henderson was diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease late last year, and had two operations on his intestines this past offseason. Doctors removed a section of diseased tissue in January, and Henderson then had his intestines reattached in April.
Henderson declined to comment following practice Friday, two days before Buffalo opens the season at Baltimore. Jordan Mills will start at right tackle after taking over the job once Henderson was sidelined in December.
Several studies have found marijuana can be an effective treatment for Crohn’s. In New York, the state’s medical marijuana program specifically lists patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease as being potentially eligible to obtain medical marijuana.
Henderson previously acknowledged testing positive for the drug at the NFL combine in 2014 and said positive tests led to him being suspended several times in college.
He rejoined the team in late May and was cleared for practice last month . He won’t be eligible to practice until Oct. 3, a day after the Bills play at New England.
Henderson was Buffalo’s starting right tackle since his rookie season in 2014, when Buffalo drafted him in the seventh round out of the University of Miami.
The Bills planned to fill Henderson’s roster spot by promoting kicker Jordan Gay from their practice squad. Gay was cut by Buffalo last month after spending the past two seasons as the team’s kickoff specialist. The Bills re-signed him this past week.