Jared Veldheer’s NFL career is coming to a close in a rather interesting turn of events. On Thursday afternoon, Field Yates of ESPN reported that the veteran offensive lineman, who is currently a free agent, has been suspended for the first six games of the upcoming 2021 season. In the aftermath of that news coming to light, Veldheer released a statement explaining what triggered the positive test and that he would be retiring from the NFL.
“I was prescribed low dose clomid due to abnormally low T (likely caused from pituitary damage suffered from repeated blows to the head),” Veldheer’s statement reads. “I recommend this to any veteran who is struggling with post-football issues. I also plan to retire at this time from the NFL.”
The timing of these two pieces of news coming to light makes it seem a bit more reactionary than what it probably was for Veldheer to make his retirement decision. In reality, the 33-year-old likely made his choice to put down his helmet well prior to taking a banned substance by the league that he in all likelihood knew would trigger a positive test and suspension.
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The 11-year veteran has played sparingly over the last few seasons. That said, he nearly made NFL history this postseason by playing for two different teams when he was on the Colts and then Packers roster. Unfortunately for Veldheer in his quest to find his way into the quirkier side of the NFL’s record books, he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list before Green Bay’s divisional round matchup against Los Angeles, forcing him to miss the contest.
He began his career as a third-round draft choice of the then-Oakland Raiders in 2010 and played (and started) four seasons at left tackle for them before signing a $35 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals in 2014. He played there until 2018 when he was traded to the Broncos. At that point, Veldheer’s career moved from being a starter to more of a rotational player.