FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Friday, ending his fourth suspension over substance-abuse violations.
Gregory won’t be eligible to play until Week 6 when the Cowboys have a Monday night home game against Arizona on Oct. 19. He missed all of 2019 over his latest suspension.
The 27-year-old can report to the club Monday for coronavirus testing, followed by conditioning work and meetings, and will be eligible to practice starting Oct. 5. The Cowboys open the season Sept. 13 at the Los Angeles Rams.
“Today is a day of celebration and thanks,” Gregory wrote on Twitter. “It’s go time. I am in a good place and plan to use this second chance to be a great father, player, citizen of Dallas and teammate.”
Gregory was suspended indefinitely in February 2019, not long after playing 14 games in one of just two seasons that hasn’t been interrupted or wiped out by a suspension since he was drafted in 2015.
The previous yearlong ban kept Gregory out in 2017. He had his best year in 2018 with a career highs of six sacks and 14 games.
Playing time could be a little harder to come by this time after the Cowboys signed free agents Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith in the offseason. Smith hasn’t played since 2015 because of a suspension that recently ended.
Gregory slid to the Cowboys late in the second round of the 2015 draft after testing positive for marijuana at the NFL combine. He was considered one of the best pass rushers in his draft, and there was promise early with a strong rookie training camp.
After vowing to owner and general manager Jerry Jones that he could control his issues with marijuana, Gregory only made it through one season. He didn’t have a sack as a rookie while missing four games with an ankle injury.
The first suspension, a four-game ban, was announced in February 2016, and he was away from the team during training camp while in rehab. A 10-game suspension came seven months later. Gregory remained with the team while missing those 14 games before playing in the final two games of the 2016 season.
Gregory’s yearlong suspension was announced during Dallas’ two-week break between the end of the 2016 regular season and a divisional playoff loss to Green Bay.
In 28 games over three seasons, the former Nebraska standout has seven sacks. Because he can’t play until mid-October, Gregory is assured of missing games because of his substance-abuse violations for the fourth time in six NFL seasons.
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