Patriots Receiver Brian Tyms Suspended



After exploding for 119 yards and the Patriots’ lone touchdown at Fedex Field against the Redskins last week (and pulling off an unintentional Lambeau Leap), receiver Brian Tyms is staring at a 4-game suspension to start the 2014 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Comcast Sports Network New England’s Tom Curran got a chance to catch up with Tyms about the suspension on Sunday, and Tyms opened up about what happened. The NFL won’t say a peep about what any player tested positive for when it comes to “performance enhancing drugs”, but Brian Tyms claims it was Adderall and gave CSNNE some background on why he takes it.

“I’ve had a prescription for it since I was 9,” Tyms explained. “It costs money to get all that stuff situated. Money which I didn’t have to spend. It was my fault. I shoulda brought it to the NFL and said, ‘Hey, I take this from time to time before it got to that point.’ But it wasn’t like I’m using it as something to boost my ratings. I been taking it since I was 9. That and Ritalin. I can’t worry about that. I put that in God’s hands. I just come out and try to play to get on this team.”

His optimism is impressive and everything, but this looks like a classic example of not crossing your T’s and dotting the I’s. Put another way, since Tyms didn’t get a Theraputic Use Exemption (TUE) from the league, it doesn’t matter whether the use of Adderall is prescription-mandated or not, and that’s what the suspension is coming from. He’s been approved for a TUE since failing the test this spring, but that sequence of events obviously creates a problem when a positive test is involved. TUEs can’t apply to previous violations.

So, not unlike Patriots teammate Brandon Browner, Brian Tyms will be sitting out the first 4 games of the season, and that’s assuming he makes the team at all.

At the time of the suspension earlier this spring, Tyms also stated via his agent that “I am disappointed in the system, but I am more disappointed in myself. Although I need the medication and the league approved me to take it, I made a mistake and should have waited for the approval before taking the medication. I apologize to my family and friends who have supported me; and especially to my fans and the Cleveland Browns organization. I may no longer be a Brown, but I will pay the price for my mistake and be back in the NFL, better than ever… that’s a promise.”

Speaking of Brandon Browner, he might concur with Tyms’ assessment, since Browner is suspended as a result of missed drug tests…that he didn’t take during his years out of the NFL playing in the Canadian Football League. The tests Browner missed while he was playing north of the border put him into Stage 3 of the NFL Substance Abuse Policy for “failure to cooperate” after the Broncos released him in 2006.

So why should fans care about a guy that’s far from a lock to make the team or see the field? For starters, Tyms checks in at 6’3’’ and 204lbs, and if his first preseason game is any indication, Tyms could be the shot in the arm the Patriots receiving corps has needed for the last couple seasons.

Second, even though he knows he made a mistake, his attitude seems like he’ll fit right in with New England.

“I’m trying to find a role,” he said, when asked about playing for the Patriots. “It’s a great team and I’m just trying to show these guys I belong. That’s the most important thing with a winning team, just earning respect.”

Suspension or not, it’ll be hard to deny Tyms that respect if he keeps putting up numbers like he did last week.