NFL player La'el Collins has been the Dallas Cowboys starting right tackle for five years. He entered this season as the team's starter but will now not play again until October 31st.
Collins was surprisingly suspended after the Dallas Cowboys' Week 1 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Suprise suspensions in the NFL are not unusual, especially when it comes to failed drug tests. But what makes this story peculiar is how Collins wound up where he is and how he made things worse once he got there.
He didn't fail a drug test. Instead, Collins didn't turn up for seven drug tests dating back to at least December of last year.
NFL seasons run from August to February but players have to be available for testing for periods during the offseason.
The NFL no longer suspends players for positive marijuana results but they do still suspend players for multiple missed tests. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Collins missed those tests and then attempted to bribe an NFL official drug tester.
Von Miller did something similar in 2013, but even that was more of a straightforward story.
Collins claims that one of his missed tests came on the same day as his uncle's funeral and that another came on the same day Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died.
Even after missing so many tests, the NFLPA (the National Football League Players Association) negotiated the initial five-game suspension down to a two-game suspension.
Collins didn't accept that suspension, despite winning the negotiation with the NFL. Instead, he appealed and lost.
The five-game suspension was reinstated.
The Dallas Cowboys play the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football this week. Collins had previously started in Week 1 and started all but one game for the Cowboys over the prior three seasons.