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Jets defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd suspended for six games for violating PED drug policy

2019-09-10

Jets defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd is facing a six-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The second-year player is eligible to return to the team on Oct. 28 following Gang Green’s game in Jacksonville in Week 8.

Shepherd actually failed two PED tests that could have prompted the league to suspend him for 14 games, according to a source.

He took the substances this offseason to rehab from shoulder, groin and back injuries. Shepherd, plucked from Fort Hays State, had just 15 combined tackles in 16 games as a rookie.

“I was coming off of a subpar season (with) a new coaching staff, new playbook, new everything,” Shepherd told NFL.com. “In my mindset, I didn’t feel very confident with how everything had gone thus far. In my mind, I was so prepared to come into this offseason and have a successful offseason and train very hard. I felt that because of these limitations, I wasn’t going to be able to do that. I made a rash decision, an unwise decision and a selfish decision to look to certain PEDs in order to help me with that recovery process so I would be ready to go.”

The Jets were aware of the pending suspension during the preseason.

Shepherd, who was an inactive for the Jets season opener, is the latest disappointing third-round pick from the Mike Maccagnan regime. Gang Green cut 2018 third-rounder Jachai Polite before he ever took a regular-season snap. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (2017) and linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (2015) were busts.