Gregory repeatedly failed NFL-administered drug tests and incurred a one-year suspension in 2016. He can seek league reinstatement starting on Nov. 6, however, the sources expressed doubts about whether Gregory would immediately apply for a return, despite spending a significant stint in a rehab facility during the summer and managing to pass several months of league-administered drug tests into September.
Earlier this month, one league source said Gregory appeared to be on track for November reinstatement. But some of that optimism has faded in recent weeks, casting some questions about whether Gregory would be mentally prepared to rejoin the Cowboys when eligible in January.
“I think there are still some personal issues to work through,” a league source said of Gregory’s potential November reinstatement. “It’s important that he’s in the right place personally and that might require some additional time.”
Two sources said the Cowboys and team director of security Larry Wansley have been keeping track of Gregory’s status over the past year. They added that Gregory lived in Dallas with family during the suspension, though at one point he also stayed with a lawyer who moved to Dallas and is expected to handle Gregory’s reinstatement. Barred from the Cowboys and team facilities, the sources said Gregory worked out regularly in a local gym and also briefly held a job to establish some daily structure in his life.
As for Gregory’s status now, the sources declined to give specifics on what could delay his reinstatement application in November. However, the sources said additional counseling or another stint at a treatment facility have been considered.
Despite failing a drug test at the NFL scouting combine in 2015, Gregory was selected in the second round of that year’s draft. Roundly considered a top-10 talent by league evaluators, Gregory’s history of substance abuse struggles at Nebraska led NFL teams to back away from him, causing his stock to plummet in the selection process. Dallas rolled the dice anyway, hoping that intensive counseling and mentoring from the organization could help get Gregory on track during his professional career.
That never materialized, as Gregory failed multiple drug tests and was suspended for four games in February of 2016. Subsequent failed tests resulted in Gregory being suspended for another 10 games in 2016 and then finally into November of this season. He has appeared in 14 games since 2015, recording 20 tackles and one sack.
More NFL on Yahoo Sports