May 27 (UPI) -- Veteran tight end Ben Watson said he failed a drug test in March and has been suspended for four games during the 2019 NFL season.
Watson briefly retired this off-season after spending his 2018 campaign with the New Orleans Saints. He came out of retirement in May and signed with the New England Patriots, following Rob Gronkowski's retirement.
The NFL has yet to announce Watson's suspension. The tight end announced the ban on Facebook. Watson said he was prescribed Bio Identical Testosterone Cypionate to assist with healing his body and mind. The drug is banned in the NFL.
"On March 29, nine days after I started therapy, I was randomly tested under our substance policies," Watson wrote on Facebook. "I complied out of habit, never thinking in that moment I'd want to come back. In late April, some clubs expressed interest in me playing and after much deliberation and prayer, I decided I wanted to return. Considering myself previously retired, I had forgotten all about my test in March until I got a letter on May 3rd saying my results were positive. I was devastated and for obvious reasons did not want to proceed. At that point I knew that my decision to return to play would include a four game suspension and I immediately discussed this new development with the clubs."
Watson, 38, entered the league as the No. 32 overall pick by the Patriots in the 2004 NFL Draft. He said he is excited to return to the franchise, but "very disappointed" he won't be able to contribute immediately.
"This is not how I would want to enter a new locker room and attempt to earn my role on a new team," Watson wrote. "However, I respect the regulations that have been collectively bargained to promote fairness on the field of play and accept the discipline associated with my infraction."
"My goals as an athlete, teammate, friend, father, husband and believer have not changed. To live a life of integrity and humility while standing for kindness, justice and righteousness and to serve the people in the cities, regions and organizations that God places me in. Until my last day I will continue to pursue excellence in my craft and perform to the best of my ability. I am grateful for yet another opportunity to do so in the NFL."
The 14-year veteran had 400 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions in 16 games last season for the Saints. Watson won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2005.