Hope At The Crossroads: On Mike Neal And Anthony Hargrove

May 22, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac during organized team activities at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

It's only Wednesday, but it's been an interesting week for the defensive line. The first bit of news to come out what has been a never ending onslaught of news about the Saints Bounty Scandal. Specifically, that the arbitrator has temporarily retained jurisdiction surrounding Hargrove's case. This has got to be a positive for Hargrove, since at worst there comes just a bit more information and then the arbitrator rules for the NFL as what happened for the rest of the players involved in the proceeding. Really the decision has kept hope alive that Hargrove's suspension may be reduced, which could be good news for the Packers defense.

In similar news, on Tuesday the news came out giving background to Mike Neal's situation. It seems that his substance abuse policy violation revolved around his prescription for Adderall. This was prescribed to Neal in order to treat his diagnosis of OCD. I highly suggest taking the time to read some of Neal's interview with the GBPG, it goes along way to explain some of the disappointment that Neal has had so far as a Packer...especially knowing how debilitating OCD can be for those who suffer it. Reading Neal's quotes reminded me of discussions I had with a roommate of mine in college who suffered from OCD and the obstacles he faced as a result of the disease. Here's hoping the meds work and Neal is able to focus and move forward from the set backs he has faced so far. Better news going along with this is that there may be precedence for Neal's suspension to be reduced as well in light of this news.

Both of these stories present hope for a position group that was grossly undermanned in 2011. The Packers missed Cullen Jenkins and were disappointed by the injuries to Neal and the lack of production that resulted. If Hargrove and Neal are able to get on the field sooner it could help this position group out...maybe even turn it into a position of strength for the Packers. Perhaps more importantly for Neal and Hargrove though these stories can give each of these players a better chance to stick with the Packers. Both of their careers stand at a crossroads. Neal avoiding the label of bust and Hargrove getting the opportunity to continue his NFL career which has had its ups and downs. Needless to say that a reduction of their suspensions should go a long way to getting both of their careers on the right track.

Here's hoping for the best.

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