Monday, November 21, 2016
FORMER RIDER FREEMAN SUSPENDED FOR PED VIOLATION
Freeman - who spent three seasons with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders from 2009-2011 - was suspended for four weeks and is eligible to return to practice before the Dec. 24 home game against the Washington Redskins. Freeman, in his first year in Chicago after signing as a free agent, leads the Bears with 69 tackles and with 22 assists.
He apologized and said he took full responsibility for a "mistake with my prescription medication.'' Last week, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was suspended four games for the same violation and will be eligible to return for the Dec. 18 game against Green Bay.
"Obviously it puts us in a tough spot,'' coach John Fox said a day after his team lost 22-16 to the New York Giants. "That's why you usually see apologies, I think they understand that and it's obviously a mistake and one they typically regret.''
"These guys understand all the parameters of the drug testing involved in our league,'' Fox added. "But much like Alshon, we move on and we'll move on without Jerrell.''
Despite the pair of suspension in such a short time, Fox said he didn't think it was a problem specific to Chicago.
"It's an issue everywhere in the league,'' he said. "That's why we have drug testing in any professional sport or even Olympic sports. It happens, unfortunately.''
Without Freeman, the Bears will turn to either John Timu or Nick Kwiatkoski alongside Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker.
"For me, I know what type of person Jerrell is,'' Bears tackle Charles Leno Jr. said. "He made a mistake, he owned up to it and I forgive him. It's a loss that we're going to have on the defensive side of the ball, but that gives opportunities for guys like Nick to step up, so I'm excited to see Nick play this week if he gets the opportunity, and John Timu.''