High School Football

Benjamin Watson is back for another year in the NFL. But he could miss first 4 games

Benjamin Watson and his father talk about when they first moved to Rock Hill

New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson and his father, Rev. Ken Watson, talked about when the Watson family first moved to Rock Hill, S.C. in the 1990s during an FCA fundraiser in Lancaster April 23, 2018.
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New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson and his father, Rev. Ken Watson, talked about when the Watson family first moved to Rock Hill, S.C. in the 1990s during an FCA fundraiser in Lancaster April 23, 2018.

Benjamin Watson’s 15th season in the NFL will get off to a late start.

Watson retired after the 2018 season but recently changed his mind. He announced on May 27, 2019 thru various social media platforms that he’ll miss the first four games of the 2019 season because of a failed substance test.

Watson said that he suffered from appendicitis the last week of the New Orleans Saints’ 2018 season and he was certain the campaign had been his last in the NFL. Watson, the former Northwestern Trojan standout, was was a first round draft pick in 2004 and has caught 530 passes during stints with the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and the Saints.

Watson said in the Twitter message that after the season ended he was prescribed bioidentical testosterone cypionate, a steroid, to help “in healing my body and mind.” Watson said he was drug tested by the NFL on March 29, which he didn’t think much about because he assumed he wasn’t going to play again.

After prayer and consideration, he decided not to retire.

Then the test results returned, confirming a positive test for the testosterone, which is considered a performance enhancer. The NFL hasn’t officially announced Watson’s suspension yet.

Watson, who has been a multi-time finalist for the NFL’s Walter Payton man of the year award, said he addressed his likely four-game suspension with the teams that were interested in signing him. That didn’t deter his former team, the New England Patriots, and he signed a one-year deal with the defending Super Bowl champs on May 9.

“This is not how I would want to enter a new locker room and attempt to earn my role on a new team,” Watson wrote.

“My goals as an athlete, teammate, friend, father husband and believer have not changed,” he said. “To live a life of integrity and humility while standing for kindness, justice and righteousness and to serve the people in the cities, regions and organizations that God places me in.

“Until my last day I will continue to pursue excellence in my craft and perform to the best of my ability. I am grateful for yet another opportunity to do so in the NFL.”

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