Josh Freeman in stage 1 of NFL's drug program, according to report


Josh Freeman's up-and-down season took another turn on Monday with news that he's in the NFL's drug program.

Update: Josh Freeman's agent released a statement stating Josh Freeman voluntarily entered the drug program.

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman is in stage one of the NFL's drug program and subject to random testing, according to a report from Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

As a player in stage one of the program, Freeman is subject to random or reasonable cause testing, but is not one failed test away from a suspension. According to the report, Freeman has a temporary exception for a prescription drug that is on the NFL's list of banned substances. A source told Mortensen that Freeman is in "good standing" in the the program.

Being in stage one of the drug program does not mean Freeman tested positive for a banned substance. Players can be entered into Stage 1 for a variety of reasons, including behavioral issues, according to Mortensen. Once entered into the program, a player remains in stage one for at least 90 days and up to six months, depending on a decision by the NFL's medical director. According to the Denver Post, a player who tests positive for a banned substance while in stage one is subject to a fine of up to three game checks. The player is also entered into stage two of the drug program.

Freeman has been the subject of trade rumors recently after being benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. Mortensen reported interested teams are only entitled to know a player's status in the drug program if they are a positive test away from suspension. Freeman is not, so teams would not be given that information.

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