The Dallas Cowboys will be without one of their pass-catching targets for the season opener.
The NFL announced Friday that it was suspending tight end Rico Gathers for one game without pay for a violation of the league’s policy on substance abuse. Gathers’ suspension stems from his Aug. 31, 2018, arrest in Frisco, Texas, for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge.
Gathers will miss the opener at home against the New York Giants and will be eligible to return for the Week 2 game on the road against the Washington Redskins.
He will be eligible to participate in all of the team’s training camp sessions and practices and in all of the Cowboy preseason games.
Gathers, 25, a 2016 sixth-round draft selection, was a former college basketball standout at Baylor who was selected by the team in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft. The 6-foot-6 and 285-pound target hasn’t been able to translate his physical skill set, however, into production with Dallas, as he first made his debut in 2018 but only caught three passes for 45 yards in 15 games.
Despite his athletic ability, Gathers’ opportunities may be narrowing in Dallas. Long-time Cowboys tight end Jason Witten announced that he would be coming back from retirement, after he spent last season as an analyst for Monday Night Football.
Witten, who’s set to begin his 16th NFL season, has 1,152 career receptions for 12,448 yards and 68 touchdowns. He is expected to return as the team’s starting tight end.
Gathers is set to become a free agent after the 2019 season.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.
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