Can Donnie Jones do this?
I had no idea Ritalin was even on the NFL's banned substance list. Mark Berman reports that Brett Hartmann has now received permission from the NFL to use Ritalin in the future, but that won't keep him from having to serve a three-game suspension this year.
The Hitman speaks after the jump.
"I took something that was under the performance enhancing banned substance list," Hartmann said. "It was something for a medical condition that I didn't have approval for from the NFL and now I currently have approval for it, so I can take it."
Hartmann confirmed he is taking Ritalin.
"It was just for ADD medicine, but now I have approval to take it from our doctors and the NFL doctors," Hartmann said. I just made a mistake. Should have got that approved before. Just got to move on. Serve the three game suspension."
Hartmann did appeal his original four-game suspension and the NFL reduced the penalty by one game.
"We did appeal," Hartmann said. "So it went from four games to three, but there's some miscommunication with some of the NFLPA and everything like that.
"So my agent and I thought that maybe we could have got it reduced completely, but that wasn't the case."
The question is whether Donnie Jones can use Hartmann's suspension to his advantage. Barring a preseason meltdown, Jones will be the Texans' punter for the first three games of the regular season. Will he keep the gig once Hartmann is eligible to return?