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The Renewed Discussion of HGH

If you have been monitoring some of the recent league news, you'll know that a new blood test for hGH may be emerging.  The only reaction from the NFLPA has been for Kevin Mawae to question its reliability.

This may be a small blip on the off-season radar, but it got me to thinking about the use of hGH, steroids, or any other substance that unfairly advantages one player over another.  And here's my opinion - I am IN FAVOR of these substances...

for players who are injured and trying to return to the field.  My reasoning is that (a) it returns players to the field who the fans want to watch, and (b) it is only fair in a game that is so brutal on the body.

Consider the Colts players who have had trouble with injuries in the recent past - Bob Sanders, Anthony Gonzalez, Marlin Jackson (yes, yes, I know he's an Eagle now, but I'm counting him here because he had so many injuries while he was with the Colts).

What is it doing to the game and to the league when the top players are not available?  Maybe only 5 or 10 people decide to not watch the game on TV, or 15 or 20 forego a shiny new #21 jersey, or a couple of friends decide it's not worth it to go to the game that weekend.  Thankfully, the presence of ever-healthy Peyton Manning has so far minimized the impact, but consider for a moment.... no wait, don't even consider it.  (But I do wonder what the economic impact of Brady's injury did for the 2008 Patriots.)

Anyway, even when we are fortunate to have players like Melvin Bullitt and Pierre Garcon step up beautifully, I can't help but think that people are at least a wee bit disappointed to not see the stars.  So why not allow injured players come back with the assistance of carefully-administered medications that anyone else in the free world has access to?

I understand there are risks, so build some mitigation into contracts (like a league physician must accompany the player to all medical appointments, or the player forfeits pay should the medication result in some side effect preventing him from playing).  Once the player is healthy, they would have to sit out a little longer to allow the medication to be eradicated from their body... but it could still return someone to the field a little sooner.