We can add a second player to the list of diluted drug test samples at the 2017 NFL Combine. Michigan safety/linebacker Jabrill Peppers was listed as having a diluted sample, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. A diluted sample is treated the same as a failed test. Reuben Foster also failed with a diluted sample.
Peppers’ agent offered up this statement:
"Peppers went to the combine. He was sick after flying there from San Diego. He has a history of cramping. Peppers was being pumped with fluids, drinking 8-10 bottles of water before he went to bed, because he was the first guy to work out two days for the LBs and DBs. He had to go through that first day, come back on second day, and that was the fear. So Peppers was pounding water and under the weather. He never failed a drug test in his life, nor tested positive before for any substance."
Players who fail a Combine drug test do not face a suspension upon entering the league, but they are entered into the league’s substance abuse program. That means a subsequent failure could result in a four-game suspension.
Peppers has been a tough player to peg down in this year’s draft. He is viewed as a hybrid player, having gone through both defensive back and linebacker drills. I would imagine he has already spoken with teams about this, but it is still going to be interesting to see where he lands following this news.
Since Peppers is claiming it was from drinking too many fluids, we’re likely never going to know for sure if that is true or not. But even if he had not had the diluted sample, it is possible he would still have slipped. He seems all but certain to go in the first round, but this will be one more complicating factor for teams on Thursday.