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Red Raiders in the NFL 9.3.14

Tough news to start the season for Wes Welker, and a couple of Red Raiders were released from their respective teams this week. The good news is that many more Texas Tech guys earned spots on regular season rosters and practice squads over the weekend.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The news broke last night that Wes Welker's biggest issue affecting play this season is no longer his concussions. The NFL announced that Welker has been suspended for four games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, specifically amphetamines. The positive test result happened in May, but Welker's appeal was just denied by the league yesterday. However, he insists he never used any substance for the purpose of enhancing his performance.

"I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way," the email said. "Anyone who has ever played a down with me, lifted a weight with me, even eaten a meal with me, knows that I focus purely on what I put in my body and on the hard work I put in year round to perform at the highest levels year-in and year-out."

There have been various reports about the exact substance that triggered the positive test, but The Denver Post suggests Aderall.

A source close to the situation said Welker tested positive for Aderall. Welker wasn't sure what exactly flagged his positive test but he was incensed at a report he took a Molly at the Kentucky Derby. He does wonder if someone put something in his drink at the Derby.

It's hard to know exactly what to make of this situation, but I'm sure we will hear much more about it in the days to come. What we do know is that it is such unfortunate news for one of our favorite former Red Raiders.

In other news around the league, all teams had to drop down to their 53-man roster on Saturday, which meant lots of cuts and shuffling players. Unfortunately, Dartwan Bush and Keyunta Dawson were both cut from their respective teams last week. Most predictions had Dawson making the New Orleans Saints roster, so this was especially disappointing news. We wish these guys luck in whatever they choose to pursue. Judging by his live tweeting of the Tech game on Saturday, Bush seems like a natural coach.

Other Red Raiders fared better over the weekend. In addition to the 53 players on the roster for the regular season, NFL teams may choose to sign up to 10 players on their practice squads. Fortunately, Kerry Hyder was signed with the New York Jets practice squad after initially being cut from the team due to their depth on the defensive line. Now he will have the opportunity to continue to develop and improve against solid competition with the hopes of being added to the Jets or another NFL team in the future.

The rookie out of Texas Tech was praised earlier this offseason by Rex Ryan for his play, so it is no surprise the Jets decided to keep him around.

Similarly, Will Smith was excited for the opportunity to sign with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

Update: Will Smith was released from the Cowboys today to make room for Michael Sam. Hopefully he'll get picked up by someone else.

As expected, the rest of the guys made their teams' final rosters, so we can cheer on these Red Raiders throughout the season as well:

I look forward to seeing what each of our guys will do. Hopefully you were able to grab at least one of them for your Fantasy Football team.