We have officially hit the post-draft blues. It’s a strange time when the NFL newswire pretty much dies down until training camp. Any news during this brief period is usually of the bad variety. Alas, we have two former Heisman-winning SEC stars in the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Manziel’s Medication Mishap
Johnny Manziel was hospitalized Monday because of an apparent allergic reaction due to a prescribed medication. An increase in his lithium dosage triggered the response. Manziel received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in February. He has used the drug to help him with his illness. Luckily, Manziel received proper medical care and was fine after the scare.
After winning the Heisman at Texas A&M in 2012, he got drafted in the 1st round by the Cleveland Browns in 2014. Manziel has been attempting an NFL comeback after flaming out of the league in 2016. He has struggled with substance abuse issues, so it makes your heart sink when you see his name in the headlines for being hospitalized.
Fortunately, it does appear it was for a legitimate medical emergency and not a poor life choice. Let’s hope he can continue his road to redemption. I don’t think the football world would mind seeing Johnny Football light it up again. We’re looking at you, Belichick.
Ingram Mistakes Meds?
Mark Ingram, a 2009 Heisman winner from Alabama, has been suspended four games for a banned substance violation. As of this time, not much is known concerning the nature of the failed test. Ingram’s legal representation is maintaining that he is innocent. The failed test is somewhat surprising after he had the best year of his career last season.
Saints fans shouldn’t be too heartbroken as they still have Tennessee phenom, Alvin Kamara. He will take over as the primary back during the suspension and should put up some impressive numbers. It’s also worth mentioning that during all of this, Ingram is asking for a new contract. Saints management isn’t budging, so there will likely be a stalemate come training camp time. He has very little leverage right now and could get traded if Kamara proves he can handle the primary running back duties.
The PED ban violation isn’t a good look for a former Heisman winner. The Heisman fraternity preaches about character and morals a lot. So, it’s disappointing. But, the ban on these substances is often arbitrary and ridiculous when considering how brutal the game of football is. A player who wants to maximize his ability and recovery time gets punished for doing so. The jury is still out on how dangerous CTE is, yet the league continues unabated.
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