In case you were wondering what Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe has been up to lately, you now have your answer, as the veteran lineman Tweeted on Monday that he will be in Dave’s country, Las Vegas, today in order to speak on a panel for The Grove on the topic of medical marijuana.
Monroe, a former first-round draft pick, finds himself embattled this offseason in terms of retaining his roster spot after repeated bouts with injuries. He just underwent shoulder surgery in December to repair a torn labrum and is not expected to make any appearances during OTAs. According to Jeff Zrebiec, however, he did not participate in any voluntary workouts last year when healthy.
Zrebiec also believes that Monroe is far from out of the woods in terms of securing his roster spot for the Ravens, and even speculates that the only reason that he has not yet been released following the drafting of Ronnie Stanley is because he would have to be able to pass a physical first.
Another option, of course, is the possibility that the Ravens are testing the market for a potential trade, which could also hinge at least on the progress of his health. Or they could simply intend to keep him for the 2016 season, and even start him at left tackle. Nothing is saying that Stanley has to be a plug-and-play day-one starting left tackle. He could start on the right side, or even at guard.
But Monroe is still a talented player, and provided that he is able to get himself healthy after the number of injuries that he has dealt with, it would be hard to imagine that he is not starting for some team during the 2016 season, even if that means that he has to be traded in order to make that happen.
For as much adversity as he might be dealing with in the context of his health and his football career, however, he has not allowed that to impact his off-field schedule. Sarah Ellison writes that just this Friday he hosted 45 homeless veterans battling addiction for a fishing trip as part of a residential treatment program in Baltimore.
Monroe has also become vocal with regards to the medical marijuana community and believes strongly that the drug is a favorable option for athletes to deal with pain in comparison to more addictive and potentially harmful opioids.
He penned an article for The Players Tribune just two days ago, talking about what players refer to as the “T Train”, a line of injured players getting into rank and file in order to receive a shot of Toradol, a painkiller to help players get through a game.
In case you were wondering, he has indeed put his money where his mouth is. He donated $80,000 in March to research group at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania exploring medical marijuana.
Today, he is using his mouth once again for the panel Breaking Barriers to Medical Marijuana Research. As public perception of marijuana continually evolves in a more accepting direction, doing the research and getting the most out of what seems inevitable just sounds like a sensible idea.