FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Kellen Winslow Jr. is set to get back to work with the New York Jets, after serving a four-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Winslow returned to the Jets’ practice facility Monday. But the team received a roster exemption for him, meaning he won’t count against the 53-man roster until 4 p.m. next Monday afternoon.
The Jets have a bye-week break, and play their next game on Nov. 17 at Buffalo.
Winslow was still unsure why the positive test occurred, but thinks it was possibly for allergy medication he took.
“It’s just life and you have to deal with stuff,” Winslow said. “People that know me know that I’m not trying to gain an edge or something like that illegally or anything like that. I respect the game too much for that.”
Winslow said he is still waiting to hear back from the NFL Players Association to find out exactly what the substance was that prompted the positive test.
He added that the only thing he recently changed in his daily regimen was taking “something from a doctor,” but not a prescription. Winslow said it was “more like vitamins.” “It’s just my allergies, period,” Winslow said. “It’s just to help my allergies, help inflammation, my knee. So, I think that’s what it was.”
Despite the suspension and the NFL cracking down on PEDs, Winslow isn’t worried that his reputation might be a bit tarnished by this incident.
“I know who I am and I’m comfortable with who I am, and that’s not who I am,” he said. “I’m not trying to go out and take illegal stuff. That’s just not what I do.”
Winslow explained that the substance that triggered the positive test digested in his fat and not in his blood, so that means it was something he took orally and not an injection.
“So, I think it matches up with that,” he said.
Winslow opted to serve the suspension immediately rather than appeal because he wanted to be sure he would be available to the team for the second half of the season.
One positive for the tight end was that he was able to rest his balky right knee that had kept him out of practices.
Winslow, who was the team’s leading receiver before the suspension, says he was a bit disappointed by a decrease in playing opportunities, but is optimistic about being productive after the team returns from the bye next Monday.
“There’s a lot of things you get frustrated about over the season, and yeah, I was frustrated about my playing time and I want to help my team more,” Winslow said. “But that happens, and, there’s more games to be played and I’ll be utilized and I’ll be there. I’ll be ready.”
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