Titans’ second-year linebacker Gerald McRath has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the NFL performance enhancing drug policy, according to a statement by the NFL.
The four-game suspension begins Sept. 4., and McRath will be eligible to return Oct. 4, one day after the Titans play the Denver Broncos.
McRath violated the league’s steroids policy.
Titans Coach Jeff Fisher said McRath and most of his teammates are “very, very conscientious” about what they put in their bodies.
“We feel like we go above and beyond as far as teaching the players their responsibility as far as what they put in their bodies,” Fisher said. “There are situations where even though you think you’re taking a product that is safe, oftentimes there are contaminated batches. With that being said we are still pulling together some information but the league’s decision is final and we will be without Gerald [for four games].”
McRath is still eligible to participate in all Titans preseason games, practices and activities, but the suspension knocks McRath out of competition for a starting position at linebacker.
It also leaves a hole in the Titans’ defense.
“We’ve got plenty of options as far as the position is concerned. We’ve got great competition, we’ve got plenty of time to sort it out,” Fisher said. We’ve got ‘Spoon [Will Witherspoon] here who’s having a great offseason. Collin Allred’s played out there, Jamie Winborn’s played out there, Kegs [Standford Kegler] has played so we’ve got options. And as I’ve said all along I’m still watching the Keith Bulluck situation.”
Fisher said he does not see the incident as a disregard for league policy.
“I believe in my discussions with Gerald that there was nothing intentional,” Fisher said. “You can get your hands on something that appears to be safe, that the label is accurate as far as all the ingredients are concerned but there is a contaminated batch.”
Fisher said Stephen Tulloch signed his tender Monday morning.
“Tully’s thing is going to get worked out,” Fisher said.
Tulloch was not at practice but signing his tender indicates that his return is imminent.