The Giants face the Steelers Sunday afternoon in 2008's first real Game of the Century (we were subjected to roughly 10 of them during the Patriots historic Run to FAIL last year).
But after spending Thursday morning in the hospital undergoing tests on his neck and shoulder, wideout Plaxico Burress's status is in doubt. Quarterback Eli Manning could be without his favorite target, but it wouldn't be the first time this season; New York managed to squeak by Seattle 44-6 back in Week 5.
And while the Steelers will have their full complement of wide receivers, that could be short lived. You see, Santonio Holmes, the team's 2006 first-round pick, was pulled over last night. Not necessarily a big deal if you're sober. Unfortunately, the cops also found weed in Holmes' SUV, which suddenly makes it a big deal.
From the Observer-Reporter's Dale Lolley:
There has been no confirmation on the report, but the revelation could lead to an eventual suspension of Holmes if convicted of possession.
The severity of a suspension would depend on if Holmes has tested positive in the past for marijuana. First-time offenders in the NFL's drug program are not suspended and are instead entered into the NFL's drug offender program, getting increased testing.
So, Steelers fans, good news: Holmes will play this weekend! Bad news: He could earn a suspension at some point in the near future. Police found Jags wide receiver Matt Jones in the back of a truck with some coke, and although he entered a drug treatment program to a wildly applauding courtroom (drug courts rock!), he's still probably looking at a three-game suspension.
Holmes has had two prior run-ins with the fuzz, both before the start of the '06 season, and that could impact the severity of his league-sanctioned punishment. On the upside, Pittsburgh police officer James Vogel sounds like he's willing to be a character witness.
Vogel said Holmes was very cooperative, respectful and wasn't impaired. He thinks that should be taken into account when it comes to any potential action taken against him by the Steelers and the NFL.
"We wouldn't expect a steelworker to be laid off or suspended without pay," said Vogel. "I wouldn't expect a police officer, firefighter or a member of the Steelers."
Wait, what? A police officer wouldn't be suspended without pay if he was found to have pot in his car? Is that his patrol cruiser or his off-duty ride? You know, because it makes a difference.
In related news: the NFL will definitely find a way to fine Hines Ward for this.