As many in Rams Nation remember, Robert Quinn tragically ended the season 0.5 sacks behind Robert Mathis in the race for the Deacon Jones Award. While many were merely disappointed in the Rams stud’s near-miss of the honor, others were more jaded, pointing to the fact that Mathis’ had petitioned the league to change a previously ruled “interception” into a sack-forced fumble; the aged Colts’ pass rusher won that appeal. Despite taking the vote for the Professional Football Writers of America’s Defensive Player of the Year, Quinn was snubbed by the AP voters, failing to rank within the Top 3 in votes. Many have suggested, including our site, that his chances of taking the prestigious AP crown were directly linked to his winning of the Deacon Jones Award.
With free agency and the NFL Draft, most had put the matter in the past. That is, until the NFL recently announced,
NFL suspended Colts’ pass rusher Robert Mathis four games for violating policy on performance enhancing substances.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 16, 2014
Schefter later reported that Mathis’ suspension was, more specifically, for Clomid (clomifene), a selective estrogen receptor modulator that is typically prescribed to men for treating oligospermia (i.e. low sperm count). However, the drug is reportedly used recreationally to block estrogen and restore or boost the body’s natural ability to produce testosterone. As a result, the medication is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and most major American sports. In fact, Clomid and other similar drugs have been widely linked to the “Steroid Era” in the MLB, where these fertility drugs were commonly taken by steroid users to restart their body’s testosterone production after coming off steroid cycles; the most famous being the 50 game ban for Manny Ramirez in 2009.
Robert Mathis has attempted to get ahead of the allegations by willingly offering information about his suspension, the substances he was using, and the reasoning behind the use. Included in that was a plea to the NFL to reconsider his suspension.
“The union has worked very closely with me to present all of the facts and medical records for consideration of discipline that does not include a suspension because of the unique facts of my case, but the Commissioner refused the request,” Mathis said.
Aside from Robert Mathis missing a handful of games for the Indianapolis Colts, little will likely come of the suspension. Assuming this was the result of a recent drug test, there is no way of knowing whether or not the banned substances were used by the pass rusher last season on his way to becoming the 2013 sack leader at the tender age of 32 years old.
Should the NFL consider repossessing the Deacon Jones Award from Robert Mathis, following his suspension for, what is considered by the league, to be a performance enhancing drug? Should we simply take Mathis at his word that the drug were merely for fertility purposes? These are all questions that members of Rams Nation will lament, as we look back at what would have been, had Robert Quinn finished the season on top of the sack leader board. Regardless, Mathis’ suspension has undoubtedly cast a dark cloud over the first awarding of the prestigious honor named after the Rams’ great.