NFL, NFLPA ask drug-testing official to investigate Eric Reid's claims

ByDavid Newton ESPN logo
Monday, December 24, 2018

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NFL and NFL Players Association have asked the administrator of their independent drug-testing program to look into allegations by Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid concerning the number of times he has been tested this season, sources from both sides confirmed.

Reid said following Monday night's loss to New Orleans he was tested for a seventh time since signing with Carolina in late September. He implied it was because of his collusion grievance against the league.

The grievance was filed in May by the NFLPA on Reid's behalf, alleging team owners and the league, influenced by President Donald Trump, colluded to prevent Reid's employment because of his protests against social injustice during the pregame national anthem.

While the NFL and NFLPA stand by their position the tests are random and they have no influence on who gets tested, they have asked that John Lombardo look into the matter with the number of tests raising eyebrows.

Lombardo has been the administrator of the program for 28 years.

"I guess there was something about some mathematician saying it's highly improbable, but definitely possible," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said last week. "But I'll say this: If my name came up that many times, I'd buy a lottery ticket."

Under league policy, 10 players are to be randomly selected from each team's 53-man roster each week for testing. Last week, Panthers receiver Torrey Smith said he has been tested "maybe three" times since the season began, including the test every player takes at the start of training camp.

"I guess there's a small chance we can make the hit [winning the lottery] to make a million," Smith said of Reid being tested seven times. "They say it's random, but you have to add to that, it doesn't make sense."

Reid, the first player to join former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the anthem, continues to pursue the grievance. He also continues to kneel during the anthem.

Reid's attorney and the NFLPA, sources told previously, are looking into the matter.

Reid's grievance is scheduled to be heard after the season. While there isn't a lot he can say now, Reid made it clear he and his representatives are "taking notes" about everything that has happened the past few months.

Reid also has suggested his four fines and ejection have been part of the league targeting him because of the grievance. He could face another fine after Sunday's loss to Atlanta in which he was called for a personal foul.

The Washington Post initially reported this request to Lombardo.