The New York Giants will be without wide receiver Golden Tate for the first four games of the 2019 season.
The ruling from the independent arbitrator has finally come down, and Tate’s appeal of his four-game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. Tate will be eligible to play in the three remaining preseason games but will not be able to play or practice with the team until after their Week 4 game against the Washington Redskins.
While the length of time it took for the arbitrator to hand down his decision is notable, the fact that Tate lost his appeal was expected.
Tate’s case is a sympathetic one — taking a fertility treatment without realizing that it contained a banned substance — but the NFL is firm in their policy that players are responsible for what they put in their bodies. And even though Tate was honest and upfront about what happened and why, the NFL does not want precedent to be set in these matters as it would create a potential loophole for bad actors to exploit.
Now the Giants have to walk a fine line between getting Tate enough reps in practice and preseason to be ready for his debut in Week 5, but not take away valuable snaps from players they will need to rely upon in the first month of the season. We’ll just have to wait and see how the Giants respond over the coming days and weeks.
Tate is maintaining his innocence.