LAKE FOREST — The NFL suspended injured Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman 10 games Monday for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
It was the second PED suspension in as many years for Freeman, who received a four-week punishment last season. The league says he will begin serving this one immediately.
A sixth-year pro, Freeman is on injured reserve because of a pectoral injury he suffered in a season-opening loss to Atlanta. He also suffered a concussion in the game that he said could end his career and is at the root of the latest PED violation.
Freeman posted Monday on Twitter that he deliberately downplayed his head injury and has “been lying to friends, family and loved ones” who ask if he’s OK. He said he has experienced memory loss.
“That being said, there’s no excuse to cope with any problems by taking any kind of pills,” he wrote. “I don’t know my future, but a big thanks to the Bears and the NFL, if I would have used their programs and services earlier than I did I wouldn’t be in this situation. Sorry again for the distraction.”
Freeman led Chicago with 110 tackles — a team-high 86 solo — last season. He was with the Colts from 2012-2015.
“I would respect what he has to say,” coach John Fox said. “But the reality is we’re obviously pretty disappointed. Really, it’s just like last year again. It’s something that we talk about very, very consistently. They are responsible for what they put in their body. I’ll just leave it at that.”