Veteran NFL linebacker Jerrell Freeman was recently suspended by the NFL for breaking the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, and the Bears’ linebacker is talking as if the punishment could be the end of his run in Chicago.
In fact, he thinks his career may be over much in thanks to a head injury. That injury, per Freeman, led him to take pills and that ultimately led to his 10-game suspension, his second in the past year.
Frankly, Freeman doesn’t seem to be doing well at this point. Prior to his suspension, he had spent the past eight weeks on the injured reserve after tearing a chest muscle in Chicago’s season opener. He also self-reported a concussion from that game.
The chest tear seemed to be a pretty significant deal at the time, but the issue Freeman wanted to talk about on Twitter was the head injury, which he says has led to memory loss and may have driven him to the pills.
Here’s the meat of Freeman’s confession, if not a cry for help, on Twitter (as transcribed by the Chicago Tribune):
“Knowing my career may be over due (to) everything that came with the head injury (that’s been purposely downplayed by me), memory loss and all, has actually been a bit of a struggle,” Freeman wrote.
“That being said there’s no excuse to cope with any problems by taking any kind of pills. I don’t know my future but a big thanks to the Bears and the NFL, if I would have used their programs and services earlier than I did I wouldn’t be in this situation. Sorry again for the distraction.”
It seems at this point that the biggest thing Freeman can do is get help, and perhaps this was his first step. He didn’t specify what pills he was taking but it was obviously something on the NFL’s banned list — thus the suspension.
The fact that he mentioned programs offered by the Bears or the NFL would lead one to believe that whatever the issue for him is, it is pretty serious. That’s worrisome and combined with the fact that he seems to think his career is done, paints a picture of a player who’s in quite a low place right now.
Freeman has been in the NFL since 2012, having played in Chicago for the past two seasons.