Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders missed Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, as he's suspended for the first four games of the 2014 seasons for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. That policy is on the verge of being changed however, as the league and the NFLPA are trying to come to an agreement on HGH testing.
Such and agreement reportedly would also include things such as moving offseason amphetamine violations to the drug policy rather than the PED policy, as well as raising the currently ridiculously low THC (marijuana) threshold. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, if a new agreement comes to place it could retroactively effect some current suspensions, most notably that of Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon.
Currently the NFL's threshold for THC was 15 nanograms per millimeter, which is significantly lower than the threshold for things like Olympic drug testing (150 ng/mL) and the threshold for the United States government (50 ng/mL). Gordon tested just above the 15 ng/mL limit with one sample and just below it with another, so there is some thought that his suspension could be overturned if the threshold is brought to a more typical standard.
So how does this effect Ace Sanders and the Jaguars?
To be perfectly clear, we don't know what Sanders tested for. Most assume it was marijuana, which if that is the case, he didn't even need to have much in his system to pop positive by the NFL standard. If that's what he failed for and his result is lower than what the new threshold is, he could reportedly have his suspension over turned.
First of all, I have a hard time believing the NFL would retroactively lift suspensions that have already been handed out and denied on appeal. Second, it would be the NFL admitting a mistake, which as we know rarely happens.
If that's the case however, I know everyone's first thought is going to be Justin Blackmon.
Forget about it.
Even if suspensions are retroactively lifted, the NFL is very likely going to impose a cut off for it, which will likely be suspensions that have occurred during this league year. Blackmon was suspended indefinitely during last season and hasn't been able to stay out of trouble.
Ultimately however, I'll be surprised if the NFL retroactively lifts suspensions even with a new agreement in place.