Will Fuller V dazzled Houston fans on Thanksgiving as the speedster snagged six catches for 171 and two touchdowns in the Texans’ commanding 41-25 win over the Detroit Lions. This performance put him in the NFL’s top 10 in both receiving yards (879, 10th) and touchdowns (eight, tied for seventh).
With a 4-7 record, the Texans have a minuscule chance of reaching the playoffs. Still, the positive vibes amongst Fuller and his teammates appeared to be at a season high after beating the Lions, their third win in their last four games. This comes after significant turmoil earlier in the season, when Houston fired head coach Bill O’Brien four games into the season after he was called out by some of the team’s star players, including All-Pro defensive tackle J.J. Watt.
“All the momentum is good momentum, especially with what’s been going on with this organization and this team,” Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson said after the victory over the Lions. “The momentum is good momentum and that’s what we’ve been fighting for and working toward.”
But the next day, the momentum turned sour when news broke that Fuller was effectively done for the season after being suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy.
“Earlier this year, I sought treatment from a medical professional who prescribed medication that he believed to be permitted under the NFL’s drug policy,” Fuller wrote in a post on his Instagram account. “As it turns out, my trust in this professional was misplaced because this medication was NOT a permitted substance under the NFL Policy on Performance Enhancing Substances.
“As a result of this mistake, I have been suspended for six games for taking this prohibited medication. I want to sincerely apologize to the Texans organization and all of my fans for this mistake. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and returning better than ever in 2021.”
This news is made even more unfortunate given that he was in the midst of the healthiest season of his five-year NFL career. Fuller had played in each of the Texans’ first 11 games this season. His current career mark for games played is 14 as a rookie, followed by 10-, seven- and 11-game seasons.
His explanation for taking the prohibited medication is similar to what New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate offered when he was suspended for four games at the start of 2019 also for taking a banned substance. Tate actually appealed his suspension, but was ultimately denied.
Fuller is in the midst of the final year of his contract with the Texans and is expected to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
With five games left on the 2020 schedule, his suspension will carry over to the first game of next season.
Former Notre Dame Football Players In The NFL: Week 12 Recap
• Josh Adams (Played at Notre Dame from 2015-17), RB, New York Jets: Elevated from the practice squad and carried the ball once for one yard in the 0-11 Jets’ 20-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins … Has four carries for nine yards and a touchdown in three games played this season.
• Alex Bars (2014-18), OL, Chicago Bears: Started for the third game in a row and the second at guard in the 5-6 Bears’ 41-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
• Asmar Bilal (2015-19), LB, Los Angeles Chargers: Did not play in 3-8 Los Angeles’ 27-17 road loss to the Buffalo Bills.
• Miles Boykin (2015-18), WR, Baltimore Ravens: The 6-4 Ravens’ game against the Steelers was moved to Wednesday afternoon … Has 14 receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown through 10 contests.
Another ultimate 2020 note: the Ravens-Steelers game is kicking off Wednesday at 3:40 pm because NBC wanted and was committed to broadcasting the 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday night, per sources. Tree lighting trumped football.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 30, 2020
• Chase Claypool (2016-19), WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The 10-0 Steelers’ game against the Ravens was moved to Wednesday afternoon … On the season, he has 39 catches for 559 yards and eight touchdowns, nine carries for 22 yards and two scores, and five special teams tackles … Became the first wide receiver in the Super Bowl era to score 10 touchdowns in his first 10 NFL games.
• Sheldon Day (2012-15), DL, Free Agent: Waived by the Colts two weeks ago … Spent the start of the season on injured reserve and had just two tackles and one pass defended this season.
• Tyler Eifert (2009-12), TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: Recorded three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown in the 1-10 Jaguars’ 27-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns … Through 11 games, he has 22 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns.
• Matthias Farley (2011-15), DB, New York Jets: Played special teams in the 0-11 Jets’ 20-3 loss to the Dolphins … Has recorded seven stops through 11 games.
• Will Fuller V (2013-15), WR, Houston Texans: Snagged six catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns in 4-7 Houston’s 41-25 win over the Detroit Lions … Suspended on Monday for six games for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing substances policy … Has 53 grabs for 879 yards (10th in the NFL) and eight touchdowns (tied for seventh).
• Alohi Gilman (2017-19), S, Los Angeles Chargers: Played special teams in the 3-8 Chargers’ 27-17 loss to the Bills … Has two tackles on the season.
• J.J. Jansen (2004-07), LS, Carolina Panthers: Played special teams in the 4-8 Panthers’ 28-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings … Has one tackle in 11 games this season.
• Bennett Jackson Jr. (2009-13), DB, New York Jets: Played special teams in the 0-11 Jets’ 20-3 loss to the Dolphins … On the season, has one tackle on special teams.
• Khalid Kareem (2016-19), DE, Cincinnati Bengals: Recorded three tackles and returned a kickoff for 13 yards in the 2-8-1 Bengals’ 19-17 loss to the New York Giants … Has recorded 16 tackles (one for loss), a sack and a quarterback hit through 11 games.
• DeShone Kizer (2014-16), QB, Tennessee Titans: Signed to the Titans’ practice squad last week and did not play in their 45-26 win over the Indianapolis Colts … Was cut by the Raiders on Sept. 30 … Has not thrown a pass in the NFL since 2018.
• Cole Kmet (2017-19), TE, Chicago Bears: Recorded one catch for eight yards in the 5-6 Bears’ 41-25 loss to the Packers … On the season, he has eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
• Julian Love (2015-18), DB, New York Giants: Recorded three tackles in the 4-7 Giants’ 19-17 win over the Bengals … Through 11 games, he has 41 tackles (one for loss), two passes defended and one interception.
Cole Luke (2013-16), DB, Washington Football Team: Recorded one tackle (0.5 for loss) in the 4-7 Washington Football Team’s 41-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
• Nick Martin (2011-15), OL, Houston Texans: Started at center in the 4-7 Texans’ 41-25 win over the Lions.
• Zack Martin (2009-13), OL, Dallas Cowboys: Injured his calf during 3-6 Dallas’ 41-16 loss to the Washington Football Team … Is expected to be out for three to four weeks.
• Mike McGlinchey (2013-17), OL, San Francisco 49ers: Started at right tackle in 5-6 San Francisco’s 23-20 road win over the Los Angeles Rams.
• Sam Mustipher (2014-18), OL, Chicago Bears: Returned to the active roster and started at center in the 5-6 Bears’ 41-25 loss to the Packers.
• Quenton Nelson (2014-17), OL, Indianapolis Colts: Started at left guard in the 7-4 Colts’ 45-26 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
• Julian Okwara (2016-19), DE, Detroit Lions: Placed on injured reserve several weeks ago and did not play in the 4-7 Lions’ 41-25 loss to the Texans.
• Romeo Okwara (2012-15), DE, Detroit Lions: Record two tackles and a quarterback hit in the 4-7 Lions’ 41-25 defeat at the hands of the Texans … Through 11 contests, has 31 tackles (eight for loss), six sacks (19th in NFL), 14 quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one pass defended.
• Troy Pride Jr. (2016-19), CB, Carolina Panthers: Notched one tackle in the 4-8 Panthers’ 28-27 loss to the Vikings … On the season, he has 39 tackles (1.5 for loss) and two passes defended.
• C.J. Prosise (2012-15), RB, Houston Texans: Had six offensive touches for 14 yards and a touchdown in the 4-7 Texans’ 41-25 win over the Lions … In nine games played, has nine carries for 17 yards and four receptions for nine yards and a touchdown.
• Theo Riddick (2009-12), RB, Las Vegas Raiders: Added to the COVID-19 reserve list and did not play in the 6-5 Raiders’ 43-6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons … On the season, has two carries for 13 yards.
• Isaac Rochell (2013-16), DE, Los Angeles Chargers: Registered a quarterback hit in the 3-8 Chargers’ 27-17 defeat at the hands of the Bills … Has 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks through 11 contests.
• Kyle Rudolph (2008-10), TE, Minnesota Vikings: Snagged seven catches for 68 yards in the 5-6 Vikings’ 28-27 win over the Panthers … On the season, has 29 receptions for 326 yards and a touchdown.
• Harrison Smith (2007-11), S, Minnesota Vikings: Recorded six tackles (1.5 for loss) in the 5-6 Vikings’ 28-27 win over the Panthers … Through 11 games, he has 57 tackles (3.5 for loss), six passes defended, three quarterback hits and three interceptions (tied for eighth in NFL).
• Jaylon Smith (2013-15), LB, Dallas Cowboys: Registered five tackles and a pass defended in the 3-8 Cowboys’ 41-16 loss to the Washington Football Team … On the season, he has 101 tackles (tied for fifth in the NFL), six tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, four passes defended and a quarterback hit.
• Durham Smythe (2013-17), TE, Miami Dolphins: Snagged three receptions for 19 yards in the 7-4 Dolphins’ 20-3 win over the Jets … Has 12 receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games played.
• Equanimeous St. Brown (2015-17), WR, Green Bay Packers: Hauled in two catches for 39 yards in the 8-3 Packers’ 41-25 win over the Bears … Also had one carry for seven yards … Has four catches for 74 yards, one carry for seven yards and one tackle on special teams in seven games this season.
Equanimeous St Brown spielt gegen die Bears 38 (54%) der Packers Offense Snaps. Das war bisher der höchste Wert unter HC Matt LaFleur.
Zwei Receptions für 39 Yards & ein Run für 7 Yards = 46 Yards from Scrimmage. Viertbester Wert seiner Karriere.
— René Bugner (😷) (@RNBWCV) November 30, 2020
• Ronnie Stanley (2012-15), OL, Baltimore Ravens: After signing a five-year, $98.75 million contract extension on Oct. 30, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
• Golden Tate (2007-09), WR, New York Giants: Targeted nine times for four catches and 36 yards in the 4-7 Giants’ 19-17 win over the Bengals … On the season, he has 28 catches for 306 yards and two touchdowns … Also has thrown one pass for 18 yards, plus recorded one tackle.
• Jerry Tillery (2015-18), DL, Los Angeles Chargers: Recorded one tackle and a quarterback hit in the 3-8 Chargers’ 27-17 loss to the Bills … Through 11 contests, has 17 total stops, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, 10 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and two passes defended.
• Drue Tranquill (2014-18), LB, Los Angeles Chargers: Broke his ankle in week one and is out indefinitely … Has one tackle this season.
• Stephon Tuitt (2011-13), DL, Pittsburgh Steelers: The 10-0 Steelers’ game against the Ravens was moved to Wednesday afternoon … Has 33 tackles (10 for loss), seven sacks and 19 quarterback hits through 10 games.
• Sam Young (2006-10), OT, Las Vegas Raiders:Did not play in the 6-5 Raiders’ 43-6 loss to the Falcons … Has played in seven games this season, starting five.