The Seattle Seahawks are one of the NFL hottest teams. After a strong showing in the NFC playoffs last season, finishing just short of an NFC Championship game appearance, and the off-season acquisition of receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings, many had the Seahawks tabbed as an NFC contender this year.
Now it looks as though the Seahawks will have to find a way to survive the first four games of their 2013 schedule without star second year defensive end Bruce Irvin. As reported by multiple outlets, Irvin has failed a league drug test for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Irvin had this to say about his suspension:
“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption,” Irvin said in a statement. “I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return.” (per ESPN)
The Irvin suspension comes on the heels of the suspensions for guard John Moffitt, Brandon Browner, and the overturned suspension for outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman.
Irvin’s statement suggests that he took a banned substance that is not a steroid, but more likely a misused prescription such as Adderall (not confirmed), the same substance that allegedly landed suspensions for guard John Moffitt and the overturned suspension of cornerback Richard Sherman.
Seattle will start the season at the Carolina Panthers on September 8 before coming home for back to back home games against the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Seahawks are then back on the road in week 4 at the Houston Texans.
With Irvin, the team’s second leading sack master (and expected to have a larger role in the defense this season), facing suspension at the start of the season, the Seahawks will be lucky to emerge from the first four games with 2-2 record, especially with match-ups with Super Bowl favorites San Francisco and Houston.
As ESPN’s John Clayton points out:
Bruce Irvin’s four-game suspension makes the signings of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett important at DE
— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) May 17, 2013
For Seattle, these moves will go a long way to keeping the Seahawks pass rush in decent shape as they await the return of Bruce Irvin. If nothing else, the break will give former Mountaineer star Bruce Irvin a chance to regrow his iconic dreadlocks.
Loving my haircut! twitter.com/BIrvin_WVU11/s…
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) May 16, 2013
Irvin is not known to be a dirty player or a player who takes short cuts. His apology appear to be sincere and you can bet that he will make the most of his second chance with the Seahawks starting in week 5 when the Seahawks travel to face the Indianapolis Colts.