Free agent S Tashaun Gipson intends to play again despite suspension

NFL free agent safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. blamed a supplement for his recent suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance abuse policy and says it will not hold him back from playing a 13th season, according to a statement he released Monday.

Gipson was suspended six games by the NFL last Tuesday after violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance abuse policy.

“During this offseason I took a supplement one time, which I thought to be completely safe and well within any of the NFL’s policies,” Gipson said in Monday’s statement. “It was in no way related to performance, training, or gaining an advantage of any kind at any time.”

Gipson expressed respect for the game and his fellow players, while saying he will not appeal the decision.

“The NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances is clear, and I take full responsibility for anything I put into my body. It is with great disappointment that I accept this suspension, and I do so knowing that I have never even attempted to cheat the game. I look forward to returning for my 13th NFL season and helping a team compete for a championship.”

The suspension will not go into effect until the regular season, if and when Gipson signs with a team. The former Pro Bowler in 2014, while a member of the Cleveland Browns, still can participate in all preseason activities, including games.

In 12 NFL seasons, Gipson has 684 tackles, 33 interceptions and three TDs in 173 games (165 starts) for the Browns (2012-15), Jacksonville Jaguars (2016-18), Houston Texans (2019), Chicago Bears (2020-21) and 49ers after going undrafted out of Wyoming.

The 33-year-old, who reportedly had been considering retirement, started all 33 games he played in over the last two seasons for the 49ers, making 121 tackles with six interceptions.

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