New Orleans Saints quarterback Jake Haener has been suspended by the NFL for six games after failing a drug test earlier this summer. Taysom Hill was named the third-string quarterback earlier this week, putting Haener fourth behind Derek Carr, Jameis Winston and Hill.

Following the NFL’s suspension ruling, which claimed that Haener had an undisclosed banned substance in his body when he was tested during the preseason, the quarterback released a statement apologizing for the incident.

“I recently learned that I tested positive for a substance banned by the NFL earlier this summer,” the statement read. “I still do not know how the substance got into my body, as none of my supplements or prescribed medications contain the banned ingredient. I would never knowingly cheat the game that I love, however I must take full responsibility for the failed test. I apologize to the Saints organization, my friends and my family for any distraction this suspension may cause. I am disappointed to be away from the team for the coming weeks, but I will learn and grow from this experience. I look forward to returning to the team as soon as possible.”

Though it was unlikely that Haener was going to play in the first six games of the season anyway, the suspension could put his position on the team in jeopardy. New Orleans selected him in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of Fresno State, where he played his final three seasons of college football. In 2021, he threw for 4,096 yards and 33 touchdowns for the Bulldogs. He previously played at the University of Washington but only appeared in three games for the Huskies in 2018.

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If the Saints need to make space on their roster, it’s a distinct possibility that Haener could be released or sent to the practice squad. If that does not occur, however, he will serve his suspension and rejoin the team in Week 7 and fill in as needed behind the team’s more experienced passers.

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