Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann, who will miss the first three games of the upcoming season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, told FOX 26 Sports he now has permission to take Ritalin, a medication for attention deficit disorder, which was the reason for his suspension.
"I took something that was under the performance enhancing banned substance list," Hartmann said. "It was something for a medical condition that I didn't have approval for from the NFL and now I currently have approval for it, so I can take it.
Hartmann confirmed he is taking Ritalin.
"It was just for ADD medicine, but now I have approval to take it from our doctors and the NFL doctors," Hartmann said. I just made a mistake. Should have got that approved before. Just got to move on. Serve the three-game suspension."
Hartmann did appeal his original four-game suspension and the NFL reduced the penalty by one game.
"We did appeal," Hartmann said. "So it went from four games to three, but there's some miscommunication with some of the NFLPA and everything like that.
"So my agent and I thought that maybe we could have got it reduced completely, but that wasn't the case."
Hartmann suffered a season-ending knee injury during the 12th game last season.
"Everything happens for a reason," Hartmann said. "Maybe I didn't get suspended and maybe I start playing the preseason games and regular season and my knee gets hurt again or something like that. So this is going to give it a little more time for my knee to heal.
"It's only been five months and like a week or so since surgery, and I'm out here running and cutting and punting and kicking off. So I feel like it's going really well."
Because of Hartmann's suspension the Texans signed veteran punter Donnie Jones.
"It's disappointing because it's kind of hard to sit here and wait on a punter that's got a suspension," said Gary Kubiak, Texans head coach. "We got to put a team together, but it is what it is. He's worked hard to come back from his knee injury.
"I'm sure how Donnie does will have a lot to do with our decision making, but until he comes off of that suspension he's not going to be ready to go, and he's not physically ready to go right now."
So while it is difficult for Kubiak and his staff to work around a suspension as they build their roster for the upcoming season, it is even more difficult for Hartmann who is trying to keep his job as the Texans punter.
"It's tough on him," Kubiak said. "How do you convince coaches to wait on you for (three) weeks? That's what he's trying to do and trying to get healthy at the same time."