The last few weeks have been hectic for the usually stable Patriots. After losing the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski ended up skipping out on voluntary OTAs. But even though TB12 and Gronk have finally shown up to offseason practices, there's a new quagmire to deal with in Foxboro-- Julian Edelman's suspension for PEDs.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substances policy, league sources tell @FieldYates and me. Suspension is under appeal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 7, 2018
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After an ACL tear forced Edelman to sit out for the 2017 season, the Patriots were looking forward to the wide receiver's return in 2018. However, that comeback will obviously not happen on time due to this four-game suspension. Naturally, fans are looking for someone to blame.
In this case, the scapegoat is infamous trainer Alex Guerrero, best known for being especially close with Tom Brady, because of his connections to Edelman. Guerrero made sure to clear his name and get out ahead of the story:
From Alex Guerrero..."I’ve known Julian since his rookie year and he is a phenomenal athlete who takes his training seriously—it’s disappointing to hear today’s news. Elite athletes sometimes work with multiple coaches and health professionals as part of their training. 1 of 2— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) June 7, 2018
Alex Guerrero, 2 of 2— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) June 7, 2018
"Here at our facility, we take a natural, holistic, appropriate and, above all, legal approach to training and recovery for all of our clients. And anyone who would suggest otherwise is irresponsible, and just plain wrong."
Jeez. Talk about throwing someone under the bus.
Guerrero's thought process in expressing clear disappointment in Edelman is simple: do everything possible to not get implicated or fired. Everyone knows that Bill Belichick is a no-nonsense coach, so a mistake like this, even if it is not explicitly Guerrero's fault, could certainly lead to him losing his access to the Pats.
As a trainer, it is Guerrero's job to know everything about Edelman's physical condition, and Guerrero's lack of knowledge and prevention of Edelman's PED use reflects poorly on him. That would certainly explain the tremendous defensiveness in his statement.