Kellen Winslow was trying to revive his career with the New York Jets this season, but that goal just took a huge hit. Winslow was suspended by the NFL for four games today for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. It is not clear yet what substance he was suspended for. Update: According to multiple reports the suspension is for PEDs.
The 30 year old signed with the Jets this offseason following a year in which he only appeared in one game for the New England Patriots. He has chronic knee problems that have sapped him of much of his former explosive abilities.
Winslow looked like he could be in for a big season with the Jets following Week 1, where he recorded 7 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. However, in the next four contests he totaled just 10 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Following Monday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons Winslow publicly complained about his role in the offense.
It would appear that he will now have no role in the offense, as he will miss the next four games and not be eligible to play until after the Jets’ bye week. However, this suspension should not have any major effect on the Jets, for several reasons.
First of all, fourth year tight end Jeff Cumberland has been improving steadily, and he has caught a touchdown each of the last two weeks. The Jets would prefer to have him in the starting role over Winslow anyway, and Cumberland appears to be developing some good chemistry with Geno Smith.
The Jets also have Jeremy Kerley in the slot, and he is coming off a big game against the Falcons. Santonio Holmes could return as soon as Week 7 from his injury, and the return of Mike Goodson and the addition of David Nelson give Jets plenty of receiving options, especially in the middle of the field.
Winslow will likely to struggle to find his way back into the rotation upon his return, especially if Cumberland continues to improve. This suspension could be crippling for his career, but it won’t affect the Jets in any significant way.