Cornerback Asa Jackson Suspended 8 Games


Cornerback Asa Jackson has been suspended for eight games without pay for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, the league announced Friday.

Jackson tweeted that the suspension came from taking medicine prescribed to him for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). He said his paperwork, which would allow him to take the drugs, was not turned in.

This is the second suspension in as many years for Jackson, who missed four games last season for violating the policy on PEDs. Jackson is eligible to return to the active roster on Nov. 4.

Whether Jackson will be kept around after serving his suspension, however, is up in the air. The Ravens don't have to make a move regarding him until after the suspension because he doesn't take up a roster spot.

"You've got to follow the rules. You don't follow the rules, you get suspended," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

"That's a fair rule. There's really no place for that. He's getting what he deserves. … Whether he'll be back after that, time will tell."

If Jackson wants to stay with the team, he needs to have a strong camp. He's currently battling for one of the final spots at cornerback and a role on special teams.

"What he needs to do is have a great camp and make us want him back after eight weeks and try to be in a position to help us in the second half of the season," Harbaugh said. "That will be a big challenge for him, but we've talked about it quite a bit and he's up for that challenge."

The medicine Jackson was taking is reportedly allowed under the NFL policy, but the positive test occurred before the approval was granted, Jackson said in a statement to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.

"I was diagnosed with a condition that can be treated with a medication allowed under the NFL/NFLPA policy after a player obtains a therapeutic use exemption," Jackson said in the statement to The Sun. "I now have the required approval, but the positive test occurred before it was approved. The policy is very strict, so I have chosen to be immediately accountable.

"I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, and Ravens fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and preseason, training hard during the discipline period and contributing to the team immediately upon my return."

The 2011 fifth-round pick saw action in three games last season, mostly as a special teamer, and notched one tackle.

Jackson, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, is also known for his abilities as a returner, and he has been working as a punt and kick returner.

In addition to the suspension facing Jackson, fellow second-year defensive back Christian Thompson is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. .

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