Bills OT Seantrel Henderson Suspended For Medical Marijuana Use For Crohn's Disease

Even a severe medical condition won’t let players avoid the NFL’s recent seemingly admirable stance on substance abuse violations.

Even a severe medical condition won’t let players avoid the NFL’s recent seemingly admirable stance on substance abuse violations.

Adding to the series of Buffalo Bills’ injuries and off-the-field issues this offseason, the NFL officially suspended offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson without pay for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Henderson tested positive for marijuana, and dropped the appeal on Friday.

The third-year tackle has been battling Crohn’s disease, the chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract, and underwent a procedure in January to remove 2.5 feet of his intestines, which resulted in a 50-pound weight loss.

He started 10 of the first 11 games last season, missing one game because of a concussion, before being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and missing the rest of the season.

Henderson had to wear an ileostomy bag until his intestines were surgically reattached in April. According to The Palm Beach Post, Henderson said he had felt weak and couldn’t even walk on his own.

However, eight months later, Henderson passed his training camp conditioning test and is following a strict diet that avoids gluten, tomatoes, corn, dairy, broccoli, and fast food.

Henderson will be allowed to return to the field following the team’s game against the Los Angeles Rams on October 9th.

His agent, Brian Fettner, shared a few choice thoughts to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter:

The NFL, and even Henderson, is no stranger to substance abuse violations, but might this serve as a stepping-stone for dialogue between the league and NFLPA to better handle medical exceptions?