Dallas Cowboys starting right tackle La’el Collins has been suspended five games without pay for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, the league announced on Friday.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Collins’ suspension was due to missing drug tests.
An arbitrator has already ruled against Collins but he has additional appeal rights at his disposal, according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio.
If the suspension holds, Collins would be eligible to return after the Cowboys’ Week 6 matchup with the New England Patriots.
Collins, who missed all of 2020 due to hip surgery, made his return to regular-season game action in Thursday night’s season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s started 62 games along the Cowboys’ offensive line since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2015.
Second-year pro Terence Steele, who made 14 starts in Collins’ absence last season, and veteran Ty Nsekhe are the other tackles on Dallas’ active roster. Brandon Knight, who started nine games at left tackle in 2020, is on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Cowboys were already dealing with O-line issues after being without four-time All-Pro right guard Zack Martin in the season opener. Martin tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list.