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Tate loses his suspension appeal

The Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate has had the appeal of his four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance enhancers turned down.

The decision by an independent arbiter was announced Tuesday and means the 10-year-veteran will miss the first four games of the regular season, starting with Dallas on Sept. 8.

Tate, who signed a $37.5 million contract as a free agent with the Giants in March, announced the suspension in a Twitter post on July 27. He said he intended to appeal it and felt his case had merit because he was using a fertility drug prescribed by a doctor.

The appeal was heard by a member of an independent appeals panel in New York last week.

The NFL allows players to use fertility drugs but they must obtain a therapeutic use exemption prior to using them. The league has insisted players are responsible for the drugs and supplements they take and advises them to talk to team trainers and medical personnel before using them.

Certain fertility drugs can help athletes boost performance or mask doping. Some fertility drugs bought on line are not approved by the FDA.

Tate will be eligible to practice with the team until the start of the regular season.

In his tweet last month, Tate said he has never violated the league’s rules on banned substances. He noted the treatment was for a fertility issue and it will have no effect on this season.

Hours before the suspension was officially announced, quarterback Eli Manning called Tate a smart player who can turn short plays into big ones.

“He is going to be in the right spot and he has a good feel for the zones, how to get open versus different techniques and stuff,” Manning said.

The Giants, who traded standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland in the offseason, have been hit a rash of injuries at the wideout spot in training camp.

Sterling Shepard broke his left thumb in the opening practice. He has returned to practice on a limited basis. Fellow receiver kickoff returner Corey Coleman tore an ACL in the same workout.

Rookie Darius Slayton, the fifth-round draft choice, returned to practice this week after missing almost all of training camp with a hamstring injury.

Tate split last season with the Lions and Eagles, catching 74 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games. The Notre Dame product played with Seattle from 2010-13 and was with the Lions from 2014 until the trade to Philadelphia. His best seasons were from 2014-17, when he caught at least 90 passes per season with Detroit.

Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck will likely miss the rest of the preseason with an injury near the front of his left ankle.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard says he isn’t sure if the injury will keep Luck out of the Sept. 8 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Indy’s starting quarterback has been dealing with lower leg pain since straining his left calf in March. Luck missed all of the team’s offseason workouts and has not participated in any full team drills at training camp.

Ballard spoke to local reporters on a conference call after team owner Jim Irsay told SiriusXM that the Colts believed Luck had injured a small bone near the back of the ankle. But Ballard says additional testing determined the bone was not the cause of Luck’s pain.

New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Quarterback Danny Etling’s tenure with the Patriots has come to an end.

The Patriots completed a trade with Atlanta on Tuesday to acquire tight end Eric Saubert for a conditional draft pick. The Patriots released Etling to make room for Saubert on the 53-man roster.

Etling, a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2018, spent last season on the practice squad. After the Patriots drafted Jarrett Stidham in April, Etling tried to convert to wide receiver. But competition at the position pushed him far down the depth chart.

Saubert, who is entering his third season, had five catches for 48 yards for the Falcons in 2018. He played in 16 games with one start. He had one catch for 7 yards in the Falcons’ first two preseason games.

Washington Redskins

ASHBURN, Va. — Adrian Peterson says he won’t be discussing financial woes that came to light over the summer.

The Washington Redskins running back conducted his first interview of training camp Tuesday and declined to answer a question about pending legal action against him. Peterson was sued last month over failure to fully repay a $5.2 million loan and was ordered to pay $2.45 million to another creditor.

“I won’t be addressing none of that,” Peterson said. “I thought maybe you would figure that I wouldn’t. But I knew someone would probably ask, so I’m not going to be talking about none of that. You guys got questions pertaining to that, I won’t be answering it.”

Lawyer Chase Carlson said in a statement last month that “the truth behind Adrian Peterson’s current financial situation is more than is being reported at this time.”

“This is yet another situation of an athlete trusting the wrong people and being taken advantage of by those he trusted,” Carlson said. “Adrian and his family look forward to sharing further details when appropriate.”

Peterson had been off-limits to reporters since the start of camp because of the off-field situation.

The 34-year-old is entering the first season of a $5.03 million, two-year contract to stay with the Redskins after joining them a year ago. He earned roughly $99 million in his first 12 NFL seasons spent almost entirely with Minnesota before stops with Miami, New Orleans and Washington over the past two years.

Peterson is eighth on the league’s all-time rushing list with 13,318 career yards. He rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns with the Redskins in 2018.

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