Atlanta Falcons’ Jalen Collins Begins Season With 10-Game Suspension

Jalen Collins, cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons, has been suspended for the first 10 games of the Falcons’ NFL 2017 regular season after violating NFL’s policy for performance-enhancing drug use.

The 24-year old issued a statement Monday, one day after the announcement, apologizing for the drug use and subsequent suspension. “I know I let a lot of people down,” he told media after Falcons practice, according to ESPN. “Everybody’s really disappointed, including myself. This is something that I’ve been struggling with and that I’m working on it to put behind me.”

Collins won’t return to the Falcons roster until Nov. 21, and the suspension will cost him $546,141 of the $928,440 he was expected to make for the season. He will be allowed to participate in pre-season practices and games, but must stand down at the start of the season. The first Falcons game is scheduled against the Miami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team was still deliberating whether Collins would remain on the roster for the season.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff issued a statement on the team’s stance, saying “We are extremely disappointed that for the second straight season we are dealing with a suspension for Jalen. Such are the consequences when certain choices are made. Our decisions going forward will be based on what Dan and I feel is best for the team,” according to ESPN.

Jalen Collins of the Atlanta Falcons suspended

“Some trust has been broken,” he added. “The disappointment for having a second repeat offense is stronger.”

Collins was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 NFL season, also for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The Louisiana State University graduate has admitted to failing drug tests while in college as well, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Falcons picked him up in second-round drafts in 2015, but Collins has now started two of three seasons with the Falcons on suspension.

Jalen Collins of the Atlanta Falcons

Quinn said the team was taking a lesson from Collins’s struggle with performance-enhancing drugs about telling superiors about ongoing problems, rather than attempting to hide or handle them alone, according to ESPN.

A third violation of the PED policy would result in a two-season suspension for Collins, according to NFL. After the suspension, he would have to apply for permission to be reinstated.

[Featured image Tim Warner/Getty Images]