Cris Carter was a great NFL wide receiver, which qualifies him somewhat to talk about football on television. It does not qualify him, however, to speculate wildly about what drugs players are using.

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones was hospitalized earlier this week after a bad reaction to what was reportedly synthetic marijuana, but Carter, an ESPN analyst, isn’t buying the specifics of that story. Here’s what the Hall of Famer had to say this morning on Mike & Mike.

“I don’t know this, but I think that synthetic marijuana story might be just a story. Just for me, it don’t pass the smell test. To me, I think he was smoking some marijuana, and I think he was smoking some marijuana laced with PCP or Angel Dust, and that’s what made him trip out. Now he could have been smoking synthetic, but it’s a better story. It’s a better story to tell, that that’s the reason I’m here.

When he got to the police station, why was he smelling like marijuana? Because synthetic doesn’t smell like marijuana. So for me, I don’t know all the details of the case, but I’m just a little eh. The synthetic — that’s a better way to put it.”

Carter then invokes Aaron Hernandez, apparently to illustrate the dangers of PCP, which Jones did not actually take, as far as any of us know. Carter seems to attribute Hernandez’s homicidal behavior to PCP use, which doesn’t seem relevant to Jones’ case given that he didn’t kill anyone.

Carter’s blind, evidence-free guessing about what drug Jones used is awfully shady. ESPN, an outlet people look to for actual reporting on stories like this, can’t have an analyst randomly accusing players of taking illegal substances. Carter admitted multiple times he didn’t know the details of Jones’ situation, and not knowing about something usually means you shouldn’t speculate about it.

Carter has been in the news frequently over the last year or so, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for bad ones. He was applauded for his stance on Adrian Peterson’s child abuse scandal (though not by Peterson himself) but criticized for recommending to NFL rookies that they have a “fall guy” to take blame for them.

Seems like Carter would benefit from thinking a tiny bit longer before speaking on touchy subjects, like the drug use of a stranger.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.