Eagles

Chris Long admits to marijuana use, speaks out against NFL's policy — and he's right

Chris Long admits to marijuana use, speaks out against NFL's policy — and he's right

Always the progressive, it should come as no surprise that Chris Long is sort of ahead of the curve when it comes to the NFL’s accepting marijuana use. 

For now, marijuana is banned by the NFL, but the league has recently opened discussions about possibly using it as a pain management alternative. A committee of medical experts appointed by the league and the players union will study marijuana and its effects as an alternative pain treatment. 

Long, the recently-retired former Eagle, was on "The Dan Patrick Show" today and — shockingly! — admitted to the world that he used marijuana during his NFL playing career. It’s not that Long was ever one to avoid the conversation. He sent out this tweet in January. 

But now that he’s out of the league, it seems he’s feeling a little more empowered to speak his mind on the topic. 

And he makes a lot of very salient points. He’s right — the NFL’s policy and stance on marijuana is as ridiculous as it is outdated. 

You can check out the whole thing here: 

Based on the NFL’s recent (and late-to-the-table) conversion, Patrick asked Long were he thinks this is heading. 

We should be headed to a place where we allow players to enjoy what I would not even call a drug. You know, it’s far less dangerous than guzzling a fifth of alcohol and going out after a game. Chances are the player won’t even make it to the club (laughs) to do this sort of thing that we all kind of wag our finger at when we hear about a guy getting in a fight or a DUI, you’re never going to read about him sitting on the couch and binge-watching ‘Game of Thrones’ again.

I think from a standpoint of what’s safer for people and the player, certainly people in the spotlight, it is far less harmful than alcohol, it is far less harmful than tobacco, and at various points in the league’s history, they have engaged in partnerships on different levels with those respective industries.

Long said he didn’t want to give a percentage of how many NFL players use marijuana but admitted he used his “fair share” of marijuana during his career. He also mentioned a lot of players used it for pain management. 

Long wouldn’t give a percent, but based on my time around the league, I’ll tell you it’s a significant portion of players. A big reason for that is the laughable testing policy that allows players to skirt the rules with ease. 

In fact, Long called the testing arbitrary and, well, he’s right. 

I think testing is arbitrary. The league, speaking plainly, knows damn well what they’re doing. Testing players once a year for ‘street drugs,’ which is a terrible classification for marijuana, is kind of silly because, you know, players know when the test is, we can stop, and in that month or two that you stop, you’re going to reach for the sleeping pills, you’re going to reach for the pain killers, you’re going to reach for the bottle a little bit more. On the weekend, you’re going to have a few more drinks and a few turns into a few too many. It’s just not the same and if you’re serious about players not smoking, you’d be testing more often. I hope they go the opposite direction and realize how arbitrary doing that test once a year is.

I’ve heard many NFL executives and coaches not give a damn about whether or not their players smoke weed. They don’t care. They just care if a guy is dumb enough to get caught because players know the test is coming. Believe it or not, the testing period (incredibly!) begins on April 20 and continues through Aug. 9. That’s when players are tested for what the league calls “substances of abuse” and marijuana is included in that. 

So as long as players don’t use marijuana just before or during that span, they’re going to pass with flying colors and then start up right again. There’s some obvious absurdity there that definitely warrants ridicule above and beyond the merits of banning marijuana in the first place. 

Now that he’s out of the league, Long feels more empowered to speak up. Good for him.

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Kamu Grugier-Hill admits to lying about concussion to stay in game

Kamu Grugier-Hill admits to lying about concussion to stay in game

Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill on Thursday admitted that when he suffered his concussion in Miami two weeks ago, he lied to medical personnel to stay in the game.

He told them he hurt his shoulder.

“I just basically lied to them,” Grugier-Hill said. “I thought it would just go away. Just didn’t really say anything about it. It got to the point where I really couldn’t lie to them anymore.”

The concussion happened on the first play from scrimmage in the game against the Dolphins, when the starting linebacker collided with receiver DeVante Parker. That means he played a total of 54 combined defensive and special teams snaps with a concussion that game.

Eventually, when the headaches didn’t subside, Grugier-Hill reported the concussion symptoms to trainers on Thursday, four days after the head shot. He was put in the NFL’s concussion protocol and missed the Giants game. He has since been cleared and will return to action in Washington this weekend.

Grugier-Hill, 25, said he had never had a concussion before and didn’t know exactly what it felt like. Last week, head coach Doug Pederson said the Eagles encourage all their players to report concussion symptoms and self police.

Does Grugier-Hil regret his decision?

“No,” he said. “I mean, I wish we would have at least got a win.”

There’s no questioning Grugier-Hill’s loyalty but lying to medical staff about a brain injury is nothing to be praised; it’s dangerous. But at least Grugier-Hill was honest about his decision — plenty of players aren’t.

And this certainly wasn’t the first time — nor will it be the last — that a player decides to stay in a game even though they know they might be concussed.

Back in 2015, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins admitted he played through more than an entire half against the Cowboys with a concussion. After eventually getting through the protocol, Jenkins said he felt “foggy” for the entire second half.

That’s the hole in the NFL’s concussion policy. The league has concussion spotters in the press box at every game and has made strides to prevent and detect these head injuries earlier, but players are still willing to put their long-term health on the line to stay in games. And Eagles medical personnel can’t treat a concussion they don’t know exists. It’s a hard problem to fix.

As far as the league has come, concussions are still far too normalized in the sport.

“I think it’s just part of the game,” Grugier-Hill said. “You get rocked a little bit every once in a while.”

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Carson Wentz on Alshon Jeffery: 'I love that guy'

Carson Wentz on Alshon Jeffery: 'I love that guy'

There’s been a sense for a while now that the relationship between Alshon Jeffery and Carson Wentz is a bit strained.

It didn’t help when anonymous quotes popped up on ESPN from an unnamed player criticizing Wentz, and WIP’s Howard Eskin, who is also the Eagles’ radio sideline reporter, quickly reported that Jeffery was the source of those quotes, something Jeffery denied.

On Tuesday, we learned Jeffery is out for the year, and on Thursday, Wentz talked about how big a loss that is but also spoke — in glowing terms — about his relationship with Jeffery.

“I have a great relationship with Alshon,” Wentz said. “He’s been an awesome teammate ever since he got here. When he first signed here, we went to dinner, we got to know each other, we both had high expectations for each other. It’s been awesome getting to know him as a guy and as a teammate and seeing the plays he’s been able to make over the years and this year as well. I love that guy and obviously the injury is very unfortunate.”

Jeffery has been Wentz’s No. 1 wide receiver in their three years together, with 143 catches for 1,754 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Eagles are 21-12 in 33 games with both Jeffery and Wentz in uniform.

But both have dealt with injuries since 2017. Wentz missed eight regular-season games and both playoff runs in 2017 and 2018, and Jeffery, whose season is now over, will have missed nine games the last two years.

Jeffery, who missed a game with a calf injury earlier this year and two more with an ankle injury, suffered a season-ending foot injury in the Giants game Monday night.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jon Clark reported Thursday Jeffery has a Lysfranc injury and is considering surgery.

Jeffery, a Pro Bowler with the Bears in 2013, had just 43 catches for 490 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this year.

He did have 137 yards against the Dolphins two weeks ago, his second-biggest game as an Eagle.

Jeffery had 45 catches for 732 yards and five TDs in 13 games with Nick Foles, including 12-for-219 and three TDs in the 2017 Super Bowl run.

“Alshon, shoot, I love that guy and his injury was unfortunate,” Wentz said. “It’s part of the game and it’s a part of the game we all hate, but he came in ready to work every day, and he had injuries here and there throughout the year and that definitely lingered and hampered him, but when he was healthy he was making plays and he was helping us out in a big way and that’s a tough loss for us.” 

Jeffery is under contract for 2020 at $12.75 million, a figure the Eagles guaranteed earlier this year. They would absorb a $26 million cap hit if they release him, and thanks to the injury he’s now untradeable, so it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Jeffery isn’t here next year, although the early part of his season could be in jeopardy.

Wentz obviously isn’t going anywhere so it makes sense for Wentz to speak highly of Jeffery because the two are most likely going to be together for at least another year.

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