Giants receiver Golden Tate released a statement on Saturday, stating that the banned substance the league found in a recent drug test came from a fertility medication that a doctor had prescribed to him. In the message posted on Twitter, Tate says he informed the NFL, his coaches and Giants GM Dave Gettleman about the potential concern before a failed test had even been announced, but after discovering that a banned substance was one of the ingredients of his medication.
Tate’s four-game suspension, and intent to appeal, was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The appeal is scheduled for Aug. 6 and if things go according to plan—Schefter reported that the receiver believes he has a strong case—everything should be taken care of before the season starts.
The suspension could not have come at a more inconvenient time for the Giants, who within the last couple days have lost two receivers due to injury. Corey Coleman is out for the season after tearing his ACL in camp, while Sterling Shepard is expected to miss at least the preseason after fracturing his thumb. If there’s any silver lining the Giants can focus on until a decision on Tate’s appeal is made, it’s the fact that the receiver can continue to practice with the team and play in preseason games. But that information is just a cherry on top of a shit sandwich for a team that believed it got rid of a distraction problem after shipping Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland.
This news also puts some egg on Tate’s face, given previous comments he’s made about teammates getting suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Back in 2013, the then-Seahawk told 710 ESPN radio in Seattle that teammates Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner were only thinking about themselves when they each got served bans for their respective violations.
“Everyone should realize where this team is,” Tate said Tuesday on 710 ESPN radio in Seattle. “You are affecting way more than yourself. I feel like that was kind of a selfish move on both those guys’ part.
“But it is what it is. The show must go on and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
At the time, the suspensions seemed like a serious blow to an already thin secondary that the team had been managing pretty well up until that point—Seattle was 10-1 at the time of the comments–which at least gives some justifiable context for why Tate said what he said. Ultimately, the suspensions didn’t end up mattering a whole lot given that the Seahawks went on to demolish the Broncos in the Super Bowl just a few months later.
Luckily for anyone on the Giants willing to say similar things about Tate, they probably won’t have to worry about a potential Super Bowl win making their concerns moot, so they can be much more critical.