Cornerback Joselio Hanson said that "it doesn't take rocket science" to realize that his four-game suspension without pay for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances was unfair. Hanson practiced on Wednesday for the first time since the suspension was announced on Nov. 11.
It was reported that Hanson was suspended for taking a diuretic prior to the NFC Championship game against Arizona last January. Hanson did not explain exactly what he took as he decided to keep the focus on this week's upcoming game against the Giants.
"We'll see how I feel out there. It's going to be tough when you've been out a month. You can't really simulate football by yourself," said Hanson, who is expected to reprise his role as the team's nickel cornerback. "It's different playing in the games, playing in practice than going out there and running sprints on a field. We'll just have to see."
Hanson said that he believes the suspension was unfair is because four current NFL players - Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams and Saints defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith - were suspended for taking a diuretic that was in a supplement, Starcaps. However, the supplement did not list the diuretic as an ingredient. Although the league knew the diuretic was in the supplement, that information wasn't passed along to the players. The Williamses took their case to court and through Minnesota's workplace laws the failed tests could have been disallowed. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to allow all four of the players to continue playing in "considerations of fairness, uniform application of our policies and competitive integrity."
"It could be an innocent mistake and you still can't take it back," Hanson said. "You have to be careful with your actions, which is cool, but if you're going to do it with one guy do it with everybody."
With Hanson suspended, Dimitri Patterson and Macho Harris have worked in as the team's nickel cornerback.
After comparing his time away from football to when he was released by the 49ers and out of football for all of 2005, Hanson said that the last four weeks have given him a chance to see that this team has "a real good chance to do some things coming up."
As for his reputation, Hanson said that he can't "worry about what the guys sitting around the barbershop are talking about."
"I'm not really worried about what people think. The bottom line is if I knew that's what I was taking I wouldn't have took it," Hanson said. "As long as my family backs me and my teammates know what kind of guy I am and they respect me as a person, that's all that matters."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:43 p.m., December 9