The NFL announced that Jets DT Nathan Shepherd has officially been suspended six games for two violations of the PED policy on Tuesday.
The two failed tests came on June 27 and July 25, while
Shepherd was recovering from a shoulder injury that could eventually require surgery as well as a groin injury that delayed his offseason training. Pelissero reports that he underwent an MRI on his groin that revealed he needed sports hernia surgery while also rehabbing his shoulder.
According to Pelissero, Shepherd had a hunched posture for several weeks after that undergoing surgery, which led to a herniated L4-L5 disc in his back, severely limiting his ability to train.
“All that was going on, I was coming off of a subpar season and a new coaching staff, new playbook, new everything,” Shepherd tells Pelissero. “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.”
Shepherd said he informed the Jets’ coaches and front office upon learning of the failed tests three weeks ago.
“The only competitive advantage I was really looking for was being able to come to camp healthy and having an opportunity to compete,” Shepherd said. “…I’m grateful to the league for showing some understanding, leniency and fairness, and I appreciate them dealing with it in a timely manner. I’m grateful to Jets GM Joe Douglas, the personnel staff and Coach [Adam] Gase, Gregg Williams, Blake Williams and Andre Carter and the Jets‘ training staff for their support and their transparency in supporting me through this and, despite this happening, granting me the opportunity to come in every day and earn my spot on the 53-man roster.”
Shepherd, 25, is a former third-round pick of the Jets back in 2018. He’s currently in the second year of his four-year, $3,447,720 contract that included a $987,720 signing bonus.
In 2018, Shepherd appeared in all 16 games for the Jets and recorded 15 tackles and no sacks.