Jets Back-up QB Headed to Drug Rehab
New York Jets backup quarterback Erik Ainge has entered a facility to be treated for substance abuse, a source with knowledge of the situation according to a report by ESPNNewYork.com.
Ainge is headed to the reserved/non-injured list as a result and unfortunately, it's not the first time Ainge has looked for help to deal with his substance abuse. Ainge missed several weeks of football related activities in April 2009, which was around the same time that coach Rex Ryan said Ainge would be competing with Brett Ratliff and Kellen Clemens for the roster spot vacated by Brett Favre.
According to ESPN sources, Ainge missed those critical weeks because he was seeking treatment for a problem with prescription drugs.
It's no secret that prescription drugs are attractive to NFL players considering the violent nature of the sport and the pressure to recover. In fact, ESPN reported that one of Ainge's teammates said that prescription drugs are a particularly hard problem for an NFL player to recover from given the nature of injuries in the league.
Despite the report, there hasn't been a confirmation that Ainge is currently facing a problem with prescription drugs.
On Monday, Ainge tweeted, "I am taking some personal time to address a non-football related illness. Thank you for all the love, thoughts, and concerns. I love you all."
Ainge was drafted out of Tennessee in 2008. He had a procedure on his right pinkie and wore a brace. After that healed, Ainge was placed on injured reserve because of his foot. He later violated the NFL's policy on banned substances and served a four-game suspension.