Jets DT Josh Evans Suspended Indefinitely
NEW YORK (AP) _ New York Jets defensive tackle Josh Evans was suspended indefinitely Friday by the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy for a third time.
Evans was suspended twice by the league for violating the policy during six seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He missed the first four games in 1999 and was suspended for the entire 2000 season.
Under the terms of the program, players who violate the substance-abuse policy after a one-year suspension are out indefinitely. Evans’ reinstatement will be determined by commissioner Paul Tagliabue in consultation with medical experts.
``This is unfortunate and we’re disappointed for Josh Evans,″ Jets general manager Terry Bradway said. ``He worked hard and contributed to our program. We have to move on. We feel good about the players we have, and the depth at the position.″
Because of the previous suspensions, Evans is subject to random testing 10 times each month. Last summer, he faced an indefinite suspension for a positive test as he negotiated a free-agent contract with the Jets.
NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash upheld Evans’ appeal of that suspension and two weeks later the tackle signed with the Jets for $750,000. He enjoyed a standout season in New York, recording a career-high six sacks, second best on the team, and 58 tackles, 47 solo.
Without Evans, the Jets could have depth problems. They most certainly will turn to rookie Dewayne Robertson, who was taken fourth in the draft two months ago.
Robertson left school after his junior season. He was a three-year starter at Kentucky with 48 tackles, a team-high five sacks and 13 quarterback pressures last season.
Jason Ferguson is the other starting tackle, with James Reed and Alan Harper listed as backups.
Several other players have been suspended indefinitely.
Cornerback Dale Carter of the New Orleans Saints, a four-time Pro Bowl choice and Rookie of the Year in 1992, sat out the 2000 season and was reinstated for 2001. He violated the policy again and was suspended indefinitely last July, only months after signing a seven-year, $28 million contract with the Saints. He was reinstated in November after missing eight games.
Defensive tackle Leon Lett of the Dallas Cowboys was suspended indefinitely before the 1999 season and then reinstated Nov. 8. He also missed eight games.
Two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darrell Russell of the Oakland Raiders was suspended for the 2002 season and remains barred from the league.