Colts DE Al-Quadin Muhammad Receives PED Suspension

The Colts will not have practice squad defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad available for the remainder of the regular season after the veteran defender received a six-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The suspension will be without pay for Muhammad, according to Mike Chappell of FOX59/CBS4 Sports, and, with only five games remaining in the regular season, his absence will either bleed over into the team’s first playoff game or the first game of the 2024 NFL season if the team misses the postseason and Muhammad finds himself under contract next year.

This is the second time a Colts defensive lineman has been subject to a six-game PED suspension after defensive tackle Grover Stewart served the same punishment back in October. Stewart claimed at the time that he had unknowingly taken the banned substance but took responsibility for the mistake, nonetheless.

Muhammad is a seven-year veteran dating back to his rookie days in New Orleans. He was waived after his first year with the Saints and signed the next day by the Colts. In Indianapolis, Muhammad first found his role in the NFL. Over his four years with the team, Muhammad started 25 games, including every contest of the 2021 season. During that campaign two years ago, Muhammad set career-highs in sacks (6.0), total tackles (48), and quarterback hits (13).

Following his full year as a starter, Muhammad signed a two-year, $8MM contract with the Bears. After starting the first nine games of his tenure in Chicago, Muhammad took a backseat to then-rookie fifth-round pick Dominique Robinson. Despite losing the starting job, Muhammad still played a large role in the rotation, often playing more defensive snaps than Robinson. After the season ended, the Bears made the cost-cutting move to release Muhammad and free up a bit more cap space. Since then, Muhammad has returned to Indianapolis, signing to the team’s practice squad after failing to make the 53-man roster.

Though he’s never been forced to miss time as a pro, this is not Muhammad’s first suspension. As a sophomore at the University of Miami, Muhammad was given a season-long suspension after his participation in an altercation with his former roommate at the team’s Spring Game. After coming back for an impressive 2014 season that saw him record five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, Muhammad received his second suspension for his role in a luxury rental car scandal that violated the NCAA rules at that time in college football history. He was eventually dismissed from the program and, despite having only played in 17 games as a Hurricane, was selected by the Saints in the sixth-round of the NFL Draft.

As a member of the Colts’ practice squad this year, Muhammad has failed to see any in-season game action. Set to turn 29 years old in the offseason, Muhammad is not doing himself any favors in his efforts to return to the field. He’ll miss the first full regular season in his career, and unless he finds himself getting called up as a practice squad elevation in the Colts’ hypothetical second playoff game, he’ll go a calendar year and a half without appearing in an NFL game. Muhammad faces an uphill battle when it comes to continuing his NFL career post-suspension.

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