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NFL Open Thread: Too Big to Blackball Edition

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Oct 21, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) takes a knee during national anthem before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In a first world problem, I am currently on a boat — for some reason, my family did not make “but can 10 hours of football be watched on Sunday?” their top vacation-planning priority — and hence will have to follow Week 16 (and our fantasy deathmatch) largely through dubiously reliable wireless; we’ll see if some place on this thing at least has a satellite that gets NBC. But enjoy!

Meanwhile, I see that if the NFL can’t keep Eric Reid out it is determined to harass him:

Eric Reid came to his locker after playing the Saints and found yet another note from the league about random drug testing. Reid says it was his seventh test in 11 weeks. While the first was mandatory upon his signing with the Panthers, it seems virtually impossible the next six were all random.

My colleague at B/R, the talented Mike Tanier (who is apparently a math genius as well as a writing one), crunched the numbers about the odds that any one player would be randomly selected so often, and they are pretty telling:

Per an agreement between the players’ union and the league, a computer selects 10 test participants from each team to be tested each week. An independent administrator oversees the process.

Despite the randomness supposedly built into the system, I know from talking to Reid he believes the NFL is attempting to use the tests as harassment and a distraction in retaliation for the collusion case he is pursuing against the NFL for how the league treated him in light of his sideline protests.

What an amazing coinky-dink! If somebody had signed Kaepernick presumably he’d be “randomly” selected to get his stomach pumped twice a day.

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