Defensive tackle Josh Brent has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL, paving the way for him to return to the Dallas Cowboys nine months after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter and nearly two years after causing the death of teammate Jerry Brown.
He will not be eligible to return to play in games until at least week 11. If he complies with the conditions of reinstatement, he would be able to begin attending team meetings in week 7 and to begin practicing in week 9. If he is fully reinstated to return to play in week 11, he would have missed a total of 30 regular-season games since the 2012 incident that led to his drunk-driving manslaughter conviction.
Brent’s reinstatement is based on the following conditions:
• Suspension without pay for the first 10 weeks of the 2014 regular season.
• During the first 6 weeks, he is not permitted to visit the club facility or participate in any team activities except to meet with his clinician or the club’s player engagement director.
• Beginning week 7, he will be permitted to attend team meetings and do individual workouts and conditioning. He will not be permitted to practice, travel with the team or attend games.
• Beginning week 9, he will be permitted to engage in all team activities except he may not travel with the team or participate in games.
• He must fully comply with any evaluation, treatment or counseling required by medical or other professionals assigned to him.
• He must fully comply with the requirements set forth by the courts regarding his probation, testing, and monitoring.
• He must have no further adverse involvement with law enforcement.
• Any prohibited alcohol-related conduct will likely result in an immediate suspension and potential banishment from the NFL.
If Brent fully complies with these terms, and following an additional report and recommendation from the league’s substance abuse program advisors, he will considered for full reinstatement to return to play following week 10. Brent may appeal this decision within five days.
Brent, 26, was sentenced to 10 years probation and given an 180-day jail sentence following his conviction in January.
He was released from jail June 15 to finish the remainder of his sentence in a substance abuse center. He completed the rehab portion of the sentence last month and immediately filed papers to resume his NFL career.
The Cowboys have to make a move to clear space to sign him after he completes the terms of his reinstatement.
Owner Jerry Jones has maintained all along he would welcome back Brent to the Cowboys if he was cleared to play again. The Cowboys have supported Brent throughout the process. They have done so with the blessing of Brown’s family.