Packers defensive lineman Mike Pennel has filed suit against the NFL and the NFLPA as he faces punishment for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, according to Eric Heisig of Cleveland.com. Pennel has already served a four-game ban this season as a result of a failed drug test, so a second positive test would equal a 10-game suspension, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes.
Pennel received notice of a second failed drug test earlier this month, and appealed his punishment three days later — that appeal is currently set for the beginning of December. But Pennel isn’t content with the appeal process, as his filing contends that the league only intends on providing two neutral arbitrators instead of the standard three-to-five. In his complaint, Pennel also asks that the entire appeal hearing is put on hold until the NFL appoints a third arbitrator.
Pennel, 25, has played in seven games since returning from the suspended list. He’s notched 95 defensive snaps as a rotational lineman behind starters Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion, and Datone Jones. Pennel is signed through 2016 at the minimum salary, and would stand to lose quite a bit of income if the 10-game ban is upheld.
Pennel becomes the second NFL player in recent days to file a lawsuit against both the NFL and the NFLPA, joining Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson, who is complaining of “unfair labor practices” while serving his own 10-game suspension.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.