Something we can probably all agree on is that Mike Pennel is a dumbass.
He has now been suspended twice in the same season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That second ban, which takes affect this week, was supposed to be a year-long suspension, but Pennel got it reduced to four games by suing the league.
That really calls into question his future with the Packers. The team clearly can’t count on the guy to follow league rules and remain on the field. So do you want a guy like that on your team?
The answer, for now, is yes.
“It’s disappointing professionally but, personally, Mike has an issue and it’s the focus of our football program to help him through this time,” Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s really my focus and that’s really the conversation that I had with Mike Pennel.”
Pennel can return for the playoffs, if the Packers make it that far. Certainly, that would help a defensive line that will now have to rely on rookies Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry.
What happens after this season is anyone’s guess. Pennel is scheduled to be a restricted free agent when the season is done, so he clearly hasn’t done himself any favors by missing half of the Packers’ games.
The Packers could decide to non-tender Pennel, which would make him an unrestricted free agent and end his time in Green Bay.
We’re not there yet, of course, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.