Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman La'el Collins is appealing his five-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Collins is set to begin serving the ban Sunday. However, he believes his missed drug tests were due to excused absences, per Schefter.
The 28-year-old missed a test last November after the Cowboys were sent home when strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul died. He also missed a test the same day of his uncle's funeral, a source told Schefter.
Dallas reportedly gave Collins permission to leave the team to be with his family for the funeral. In addition, Collins missed a test last October the day he had hip surgery.
Although the NFL counted a positive result for codeine against Collins, he was prescribed the medication following his procedure, per Schefter.
Collins has not tested positive for marijuana in the past 18 months. His representative argues that suspensions aren't permitted for missed tests under the new CBA.
Collins has spent his entire six-year career with the Cowboys.