There must be something in the water this week. Just when the Panthers are out of the spotlight following Cam Newton's autograph storm in a teacup, and Greg Hardy's blatant stupidity it's following with a healthy dose of reckless irresponsibility as defensive tackle Andre Neblett was informed by the NFL that he will miss the first four games of the season following a positive test for PEDs.
Panthers announce defensive tackle Andre Neblett suspended four games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.— Joe Person (@josephperson) July 18, 2012
It's 2012, and there's no excuse for a positive test in this day and age. For over a decade the NFL have been suspending players for positive tests, and any player who bothers to listen to the league's message knows that anything they take needs to be approved by the league. At this point I don't care if Neblett was taking anabolic steroids, Adderall, or allergy medication-- the result is the same.
This is why I refuse to count chickens when looking at the regular season. Neblett had an extremely good chance of starting for the Panthers following four starts last year where he registered a combined 10 tackles and a sack. Now Carolina will need to make it through the most vital four games of their season in which they face three division opponents without one of the best players at their weakest position-- just fantastic.
Given the circumstances it's likely the Panthers will now look to find a stop-gap solution at DT while Neblett is held out, though based on Lawrence Wilson last year it wouldn't surprise me if they cut their losses and got rid of Neblett. Depending on the severity of what he tested positive for I wouldn't blame them.