- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow says he believes allergy medication caused him to violate the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, earning him a four-game suspension, but also claims he has not heard back from the league yet regarding why he failed the test.
According to the league's PED policy, though, the independent administrator notifies players in writing when they test positive and requests that the player call to discuss the result.
Winslow was present at the Jets' facilities Monday, the first day he was eligible to return to the team after missing nearly a month. He did not say what specific medication he believes led to his suspension, and he left plenty of unanswered questions regarding his positive test.
"I really couldn't control what happened to me. I think it was something over my allergies. Some medicine I was taking and it was on the banned substances list. It's just life. You deal with stuff," Winslow said. "People that know me know that I'm not trying to gain an edge or something like that illegally or anything like that. I respect the game too much for that.
"It's good to be back with my teammates, especially after a win."
Winslow was hazy on the details. He said it was just general allergy medication, not seasonal, and it came from a doctor, but not via a prescription. Winslow said he believes the allergy medication was responsible because that's the only recent change he had made to his diet.
The veteran knew for several weeks about his pending suspension before the league officially announced it Oct. 11, and he decided not to appeal because he preferred to miss the time during the early portion of the season. The appeals process can last up to 25 days.
Players have won appeals in the past, including New York Giants running back Andre Brown, who said his positive test in 2012 was for Adderall, which he said was prescribed to him.
Winslow is not worried the suspension will tarnish his reputation.
"I know who I am and I'm comfortable with who I am and that's not who I am. I'm not trying to go out and take illegal stuff," Winslow said. "That's just not what I do."
Winslow worked out at home with his family during the suspension, as he was not allowed to be at the Jets' facility. He said it was difficult for him to be away, but believes the time away will be beneficial for his surgically repaired right knee.
Before he was suspended, Winslow played his fewest snaps of the season in the Jets' win over Atlanta, and quarterback Geno Smith said Winslow was frustrated on the sideline. Winslow did not speak to reporters leading up to his suspension, but acknowledged Monday there was frustration. He has 17 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
"There's a lot of things you get frustrated with over the season and yeah I was frustrated about my playing time, I wanted to help my team more. But that happens," Winslow said. "There's more games to be played and I'll be utilized, and I'll be there. I'll be ready."