Damn, it was a foregone conclusion that Travis Henry was gonna be suspended for a full year after a drug test came back positive for marijuana. We were just waiting for the hammer to come down, and already discussing how the struggling team was going to have to work with Selvin Young and Andre Hall as the running backs.
But Henry fought those charges vehemently, saying he hadn’t smoked, and the case turned on procedural matters:
As the court filings remained in legal limbo, Henry’s case made its way through the NFL appeals process, with Denver attorney Harvey Steinberg representing Henry at his league hearing Nov. 16 in Phoenix.
Key to winning the appeal were procedural mistakes the league made along the way.
The case was made that the league misstated that Henry had tested clean on Aug. 10 — 17 days before he allegedly tested positive — when in fact Henry tested clean on Aug. 23 and again on Aug. 31.
What’s particularly interesting is the NFL’s response in a statement released stating Henry would not be suspended:
The NFL’s statement said: “Travis Henry will remain in the substance-abuse program, must continue to adhere to all aspects of it, but will not be suspended following his appeal,” the league statement said. “The defense of hair samples and lie detector tests was irrelevant and unconvincing, but our substance-abuse program is based on meeting the highest standards and respecting player rights in all phases of its administration.”
There’s more here than just procedural and technical errors that tied up the results in the legal system. This isn’t the way Lord Rog operates, normally. It’s probably all tied up in court documents, but oh, to see if there were more…regardless, at least one thing has gone right for the Broncos this season.
Photo: AFP/Getty/Doug Persinger