Commanders bring back athletic trainer after 19-month leave
The Washington Commanders have brought back assistant athletic trainer Doug Quon, approximately 19 months after he was placed on administrative leave during an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Quon rejoined the team earlier this month and was at Washington’s rookie minicamp on May 12-14. Both the NFL and NFLPA approved of his return to the Commanders’ training staff, sources told ESPN.
“Player health and safety is our top priority, and we are pleased to continue to build up our training staff with another seasoned professional with the reinstatement of Doug Quon in the role of assistant athletic trainer,” the Commanders said in a statement. “We are happy to welcome him back.”
Quon had been placed on administrative leave Oct. 9, 2021, eight days after the DEA raided Washington’s practice facility as part of an investigation into head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion.
It was never stated why Quon was placed on administrative leave. He was never charged.
Vermillion also had been placed on administrative leave and in August 2022 agreed to deferred prosecution. According to the government’s criminal information filing, Vermillion was accused of unlawfully acquiring and obtaining possession of oxycodone “by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, and subterfuge.”
He was subsequently fired, and the NFL suspended Vermillion indefinitely. Al Bellamy eventually replaced Vermillion as the head athletic trainer.
Quon had worked with Washington since 2014 and had no prior ties with Vermillion, who was hired by coach Ron Rivera in January 2020.
According to his bio on the team website, Quon was responsible for the ImPACT concussion testing database. He also helps with the treatment and rehab of players. In 2018, the Washington staff was named the Ed Block Training Staff of the Year.