IRVING, Texas – The NFL Players Association agreed to a new drug policy on Friday evening, potentially clearing Orlando Scandrick to return from his four-game suspension for violation of the old policy.
The Cowboys have not made a statement about Scandrick's situation, nor have they made the necessary roster move required to bring Scandrick back to the 53-man roster. But all signs point toward the seventh-year cornerback being available to return to the team much earlier than expected.
The policy had been discussed for several weeks before its eventual approval, and the new terms were listed in a release by the NFL PA Friday evening.
Of particular interest to Scandrick and the Cowboys is the new policy's amendment that during the offseason, a first-time positive test for amphetamines, without an exemption, will be evaluated under the league's Substances of Abuse Policy, rather than its Performance Enhancing Drug Policy.
The release also states that "discipline of players for certain violations" during the 2014 League Year could be adjusted to fit the new policy.
Both of those statements pertain to Scandrick, who was suspended for the first four games of the season in August after it was discovered he failed a test for amphetamines during the spring. Scandrick served the first game of his suspension last week when the Cowboys faced San Francisco, before the changes to the policy were adopted.
Whether any of this means that Scandrick will be available to play on Sunday [embedded_ad]
against Tennessee remains to be seen. Asked about that possibility on Friday morning, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he'd consider all the possible options.
"Certainly, Orlando being a veteran player who knows our system, has played a lot of football in this league, you will try to give him as much consideration as possible," he said. "We'll wait and see what happens as this day unfolds."
Several other noteworthy changes were made to the league drug policy, including the decision to implement testing for Human Growth Hormone, effective immediately. The threshold for a positive marijuana test was also increased, and the policy mandates a two-game suspension for convictions and plea agreements for crimes that involve alcohol and driving.