The Dallas Cowboys have conditionally reinstated defensive end Josh Brent, and Brent will be eligible to return to play by Week 11, according to an NFL spokesman.
Brent was sentenced in January to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter, stemming from the December 2012 crash that killed Brent's best friend and teammate Jerry Brown, Jr.
Brent served time in jail before moving on to a rehab facility, and he was released in late July.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett have both said the team will welcome Brent back once he’s reinstated.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday that Brent is suspended for 10 games and will be eligible to visit the Cowboys' facility after Week 6. He can practice after Week 9.
The Cowboys have a bye in Week 11, so Brent could potentially play in his first game back with the team in Week 12 against the New York Giants on NBC's Sunday Night Football.
If Brent has any alcohol-related conduct or activity, he faces immediate suspension and maybe banishment from the league.
The full NFL statement follows:
STATEMENT BY NFL SPOKESPERSON
Josh Brent has been conditionally reinstated as an NFL player with the Dallas Cowboys, but will not be eligible to return to play in games until at least week 11. If he complies with the conditions of reinstatement, he would be able to begin attending team meetings in week 7 and to begin practicing in week 9. If he is fully reinstated to return to play in week 11, he would have missed a total of 30 regular-season games since the 2012 incident that led to his drunk-driving manslaughter conviction. Brent’s reinstatement is based on the following conditions:
- Suspension without pay for the first 10 weeks of the 2014 regular season.
- During the first 6 weeks, he is not permitted to visit the club facility or participate in any team activities except to meet with his clinician or the club’s player engagement director.
- Beginning week 7, he will be permitted to attend team meetings and do individual workouts and conditioning. He will not be permitted to practice, travel with the team or attend games.
- Beginning week 9, he will be permitted to engage in all team activities except he may not travel with the team or participate in games.
- He must fully comply with any evaluation, treatment or counseling required by medical or other professionals assigned to him.
- He must fully comply with the requirements set forth by the courts regarding his probation, testing, and monitoring.
- He must have no further adverse involvement with law enforcement.
- Any prohibited alcohol-related conduct will likely result in an immediate suspension and potential banishment from the NFL.
If Brent fully complies with these terms, and following an additional report and recommendation from the league’s substance abuse program advisors, he will considered for full reinstatement to return to play following week 10. Brent may appeal this decision within five days.