FLOWERY BRANCH –Falcons center/guard Joe Hawley, who has served his four-game suspension, will return to the team on Tuesday, Falcons coach Mike Smith said.
It is unknown who the team will release to open up a roster spot for Hawley’s return. Guard Harland Gunn was signed to take Hawley’s spot on Nov. 20. He has been inactive for the last four games.
Hawley was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy on Nov. 19. He tested positive for Adderall and not any anabolic steroids, according to his agent Kevin Omell.
“He is sincerely sorry to his teammates, coaches and Falcons fans for the consequences of this oversight,” according to a statement released by Omell. “Joe will work diligently every day of this suspension to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the team continue the success they’ve achieved thus far this season. He has chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation which is why he will not exercise his appeal rights and will begin serving the suspension immediately.”
Adderall has been on the league’s banned substance list since 2006.
The NFLPA issues a handbook to players each year with list of the banned substances.
Hawley started 12 games last season at guard and center.
Hawley tested positive during a routine test administered by the NFL. Adderall, which can be used to treat symptoms linked to attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy, is among the league’s list of banned substance but can be used legally in the NFL as long as a player applies for an exemption from the league.
Hawley, who was used as a fullback earlier this season, played in six games before his suspension.
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