How Long Will Owners Lose Michael Turner for?
Michael Turner is the starting running back for the Atlanta Falcons, who was charged with DUI in the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 18th, after the Falcons Monday Night win against the Denver Broncos. Reportedly, Turner did shots at a local strip club before leaving and driving home. He was about .02 over the legal limit. The official report thus far is that Turner will be entering the NFL’s substance abuse program and no penalties involving time away from the game will follow. Turner could be looking at most a one-week suspension but I would consider this unlikely seeing as he is a first time offender. The more likely scenario is that Turner will be forced to pay a fine. If there are continual violations, expect larger penalties, such as multi-week suspensions.
Turner has been quoted as saying, “Nobody has told me that I’m not playing.” It would seem like this first offense would not warrant any type of playing time reduction. On the field, Turner is currently averaging 2.6 yards per carry and has only one touchdown (after it took three tries to get into the end zone from the one yard line on Monday night) this season. The Falcons have been a disciplined team since losing Michael Vick due to his prison time from running a dog-fighting ring. This incident may drop Turner from the good graces of Coach Mike Smith, but could end up motivating Turner to improve on his modest yards per carry statistic.
Final Word: Owners will not lose Turner this week or at all because of this first incident. If he gets in trouble again, expect a multiple game suspension.