Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland is suing the company that sold him a supplement that included a banned substance, resulting in a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Copeland — who could make his season debut against the Cowboys Sunday after serving his suspension — couldn’t reveal the name of the company or the supplement because of the lawsuit, which is scheduled to be filed this week.
“Before taking [the supplement], I sent it to multiple nutritionists and got verified that everything on the label was OK,” said Copeland. who had career-highs in tackles (35) and sacks (five) last season. “Even tried checking it through the NFL app and all of that type of stuff. However, unfortunately, this supplement in particular was contaminated.”
Once he got word he failed his April 15 drug test, he immediately sent the supplements he had to a third-party science lab, which found a banned substance.
“[It] cost literally $745 per supplement to test, so a lot of people ask, ‘Why don’t you just always test your stuff?’ ” Copeland said. “But you pay $30 or $40 for a supplement and then you have to pay $745 for a laboratory to test, and it takes multiple weeks to do it. It confirmed that one of the supplements had the banned substance in it. Unfortunately, the NFL’s ‘you’re responsible for what’s in your body’ [rule].”
The day after his suspension was announced, the company wrote on its website it was changing its manufacturing partners to “better hold consistent with their quality insurance.” Copeland said this poses the possibility he was given a “bad batch” of the supplement, and that’s why he ultimately failed the drug test.
Nevertheless, Copeland is now back in the mix following a career season last year and has been one of a few starters the Jets were missing over the first four games.
“You’re looking at a guy that was playing really well before he left,” coach Adam Gase said. “He’s a starter. All of a sudden you get him back, and then [Jordan] Jenkins gets healthy, all of sudden you get two starters back. We’re close to getting a lot of starters back, we’re getting a couple every week it seems like.”
Despite changes to the offensive line in Sunday’s 31-6 loss to the Eagles, Gase didn’t see any improvement. He said he’ll continue shifting things around if need be heading into this week’s game against the Cowboys.
“It’s to the point where, you’d love to be able to say, ‘Here’s our five and here we go,’ ” Gase said prior to practice Wednesday. “I think we’re trying to figure that out. Something [is] always coming up, where we have to move [guys around]. You still have to practice with backups, guys getting work in there with the [starters], because if something happens you have to move guys into different spots.”
Most notably Sunday, Alex Lewis replaced Kelechi Osemele, who still is nursing a shoulder injury he sustained in practice last week. Rookie Chuma Edoga the Jets’ third-round pick this year — slid in at right tackle as Brandon Shell was benched. Those two joined regular starters Brian Winters, Ryan Kalil and Kelvin Beachum.
Gase said he plans to continue giving backup guys reps in practice before evaluating how everyone is feeling at the end of the week in order to make decisions for Sunday.
Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday. LB C.J. Mosely (groin), RB Trenton Cannon (foot/ankle), DL Henry Anderson (shoulder) and CB Nate Hairston (hamstring) did not practice. Osemele (shoulder/knee) did not practice and is now battling a cold, too.