April 13, 2024
New Orleans Saints rookie reserve quarterback Jake Haener has been suspended for first six games of regular season

METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints rookie reserve quarterback Jake Haener has been suspended for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers, a league spokesman said Wednesday.

Despite showing promise during the preseason, Haener, a Danville native and former Monte Vista High School standout, was not expected to play this season. The Saints’ starting quarterback is former Raider Derek Carr and his backup is fellow veteran Jameis Winston.

The Saints also could have Taysom Hill play quarterback full-time if needed, as he has done before. But Hill’s primary role is as a utility player who can execute designed quarterback runs, line up as a tight end, and also serve as the up back on the punt team.

Haener, 24, will be eligible to return to the Saints’ active roster on Oct. 16, the Monday before New Orleans’ Week 6 game against Houston.

The fourth-round draft choice out of Fresno State issued a statement on social media on Wednesday afternoon saying he was surprised to be notified earlier in the summer by the NFL that he had tested positive for a substance that is not an ingredient in his supplements or prescribed medications.

He wrote, in part, “I would never knowingly cheat the game that I love, however, I must take full responsibility for the failed test. I apologize to the Saints organization, my friends and family for any distraction this suspension may cause. … I will learn and grow from this experience. I look forward to returning to the team as soon as possible.”

My statement. pic.twitter.com/cOm2mtczw4

— Jake (@jakehaener10) September 6, 2023

Haener made the regular-season roster after playing in all three of New Orleans’ preseason games. He completed 38 of 72 passes (52.8%) for 395 yards and a touchdown. He also was intercepted three times.

The NFL statement did not specify the banned substance for which Haener tested positive.

Haener graduated from Monte Vista in 2017 and in his senior season, he passed for 2,976 yards and 37 touchdowns in leading the Mustangs to a North Coast Section Division I title. He was an All-Bay Area News Group selection as the first-team quarterback.

Haener committed to Washington out of high school and spent two years with the Huskies before he transferred to Fresno State in 2019. In Bulldogs history, he is fourth all-time in passing yards (9,013) and completions (731) and is fifth all-time in career touchdown Passes (67).

The Associated Press contributed to this story.