INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts are in the midst of the calm-before-the-storm portion of their offseason, but were shaken nonetheless Friday.
Veteran running back Robert Turbin, who worked extensively with the No. 1 offense during the offseason, announced he failed a drug test for a banned substance under the NFL’s performance enhancing substances policy.
The result: a four-game suspension without pay. The discipline will cost Turbin approximately $235,294.
“It absolutely kills me that I allowed this to happen,’’ Turbin said via Twitter. “It has always been a priority in my life to display a high level of leadership both on and off the field.
“I strive to be a person that people can look up to and strive to exemplify the definition of hard work. Unfortunately I have made a mistake. A mistake that will not only have personal consequences, but will affect the Colts organization, an organization that I am extremely appreciative to be a part of.’’
The NFL released the following statement:
Robert Turbin of the Indianapolis Colts has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Turbin will be eligible to return to the Colts’ active roster on Monday, October 1 following the team’s September 30 game against the Houston Texans.
Turbin is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
No one should understate the possible impact of Turbin’s absence.
The Colts are without Frank Gore, who signed with Miami as a free agent after leading them in rushing the past three seasons. Also, Marlon Mack, the 2017 fourth-round pick, missed all of the offseason work while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
Among those who helped ease Turbin’s workload with the offseason were rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins, and Josh Ferguson.
Turbin established himself as one of the NFL’s top situational backs over the past two seasons. In 2016, he rushed for 164 yards and 7 touchdowns and added 26 receptions and one TD. Last season, Turbin rushed for 53 yards and one TD and caught nine passes for 56 yards before suffering a season-ending elbow injury Oct. 16 at Tennessee.
His value: short yardage. Turbin converted all 12 of his third-and-1 opportunities that last two seasons.
Turbin’s suspension will force him to miss opening games against Cincinnati, Washington, Philadelphia and Houston. He will be eligible to return for the Oct. 4 prime-time meeting with the New England Patriots in Foxborough.
— Robert “Turbo” Turbin (@RobertJTurbin) June 29, 2018
Here is his message in full:
“To my Family, Fans, Teammates and Friends,
Today it will be made public, that a urine sample I provided to the NFL has resulted in a positive test of a banned substance under league policy with regards to Performance Enhancing Substances. It absolutely kills me that I allowed this to happen. It has always been a priority in my life to display a high level of leadership both on and off the field. I strive to be a person that people can look up to and strive to exemplify the definition of hard work. Unfortunately, I have made a mistake. A mistake that will not only have personal consequences, but will affect the Colts organization, an organization that I am extremely appreciative to be a part of. For that, I am truly sorry.
It is important to me to recognize those that may not be mentioned in the opening of this letter. I want to apologize to all the relationships that I have built over my life and professional career. To all the people and the communities that I love to share my time with, that are near and dear to me, my sincerest apology. I am hopeful that this one lapse in judgement will not damage my relationships with all of you.
Informing you all before the media is a huge priority for me. It is always essential for me to take ownership in any mistakes that I have made. My hope is that through my mistake, we can continue to shine light on the importance of doing things the right way. I will continue to work diligently on correcting my error, assuring that this will never happen again. I will utilize this negative experience in my life by educating and informing others, with the hopes others will not put themselves in a similar situation.
I want to thank all those that have supported me and will continue to support me in my personal and professional endeavors.