Cowboys’ La’el Collins banned five games for violating substance-abuse policy

Dallas Cowboys starting right tackle La’El Collins played in Thursday’s regular-season opener at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that Dallas lost 31-29. 

It appears Collins won’t take the field again until next month. 

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Collins has been suspended five games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Rapoport added Collins earned the ban for missing drug tests. 

Interestingly, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweeted shortly after the initial report that Collins’ suspension “is not final and should (not) have been disclosed or reported. 

“But, as usual, the NFL’s confidentiality policy is breached — by among others the NFL’s in-house media operation.” 

Assuming Collins’ suspension is upheld, he will be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 18 after the Cowboys play at the New England Patriots the previous day. 

It’s a brutal blow for a Dallas side that already has a loss in the standings, as All-Pro guard Zack Martin missed Thursday’s contest after he tested positive for COVID-19. Martin’s status for the Sept. 19 matchup at the Los Angeles Chargers is not known as of late Friday afternoon. 

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