11:34am: Tom Pelissero of USA Today provides some explanation for the confusion, tweeting that Gregory appeared on yesterday’s wire as being suspended for only four games because the 10-game suspension remains under appeal and the four-game ban is official. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com confirms that explanation via Twitter. There is still no word on the outcome of Gregory’s appeal of the 10-game suspension.
10:32am: Not so fast, says David Moore of The Dallas Morning News. Moore tweets that, although Gregory will be back around the team in Week 2, no final decision has been made on whether his 10-game suspension will be reduced.
9:37am: Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has won his appeal, Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram writes. Gregory was originally slated to sit out for 10 games due to an additional violation of the NFL’s substance abuse program. Now, he’ll only be suspended for the first four games of the season.
Gregory can now return to the field for the Cowboys in October, but it’s not a given that he’ll be ready to take the field right away. Gregory is still in a substance abuse facility, Hill hears, and he is not currently in football shape. Still, this opens the door for Gregory to return at some point in 2016 for the Cowboys, perhaps around the middle of the regular season.
Gregory, 24 in November, didn’t see a ton of action during his first NFL season — he was slowed by an early-season ankle sprain and ended up recording 11 tackles over the course of 250 defensive snaps. Viewed as a surefire first-round pick – and a potential top-10 selection – based on talent, Gregory slipped in last year’s draft to 60th overall, where he was snatched up by the Cowboys. Off-field concerns, including a failed drug test at the combine, contributed to his slide. There are a number of teams today who are glad that they passed on the talented but troubled Gregory.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.