Suspended Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan will apply for reinstatement Wednesday, he told USA Today Sports, saying he “never” had a drug problem and hasn’t used any illegal substances for over two years.
Jordan, third overall pick in the 2013 draft, was suspended for the entire 2015 season after one of his samples was diluted. He has been suspended three times during his brief NFL career.
He missed six games in 2014 for the two suspensions, which were triggered by positive tests for MDMA (ecstasy) and marijuana, according to USA Today Sports.
“Like a lot of rookies, you enjoy being a professional for the first time and having that cloud or whatever,” Jordan told the newspaper. “I realized that’s not what it’s about. I realized real quick once I got in trouble.”
Jordan told the newspaper that he had stopped using drugs long before his flagged diluted sample, which he attributed to trying to mask alcohol in his system. He was unaware that he wasn’t being tested for alcohol.
“I had a lot of people around me, like my agent and even older [players] that could’ve told me, ‘You’ll be OK,'” Jordan told USA Today Sports. “But I tried to do a lot of things on my own and found myself just [messing up]. I was scared and I shouldn’t have been scared. I had nothing to be scared of.”
At the urging of his agent, Doug Hendrickson, Jordan has been working with San Francisco-based trainer Tareq Azim. Earlier this month, Hendrickson had tweeted about Jordan’s work with Azim, which includes counseling as well as a workout regimen.
— Doug Hendrickson (@DHendrickson41) May 5, 2016
Azim told USA Today Sports that Jordan has lost 12 to 13 pounds of fat. Along with two workouts per day and physical therapy, Jordan also is required to read and perform “a good deed a day” in Azim’s program, the newspaper reported.
Hendrickson told USA Today Sports that Jordan “should be a blueprint for the NFL system of guys being out for a year in terms of what he’s been doing and how he’s come on of late.”
The Dolphins haven’t had contact with Jordan during his latest absence and have referred all questions to his representatives. Once Jordan applies to be reinstated, commissioner Roger Goodell will decide whether to grant or deny the request after Jordan is interviewed by doctors who are jointly selected by both the league and union.
“I just want to play football,” Jordan told USA Today Sports. “Because I got myself in trouble, I really ain’t got the say-so in a lot of things. But I do have the say-so in how I approach every day, how I approach my workout, how I deal with people, outside when I walk the streets, and how I wake up every morning as far as getting done what I need to do to get back on the football field.”