Lawrence did go to the emergency room three months ago "after the worst headache I ever could have imagined in life." Then there was that time he rushed for a flight, rose on the shuffle bus and "could barely get off, so they had to get me a wheelchair with folks freaking out around me." Then there was his blackout during a business meeting when he was told he scared a colleague by screaming to the top of his lungs, "Where's my gun? Where's my gun?" Then there was his drive home from Winter Haven, Fla., during a rainstorm that had cops banging at his car window to say he was "sitting in the middle of the road. It's a miracle I didn't run into something. I just don't remember."
How witness credibility plays into the NFL’s disciplinary process is unclear. In a letter to Elliott informing him that he had been suspended for six games, the league said that advisors to league commissioner Roger Goodell had found “substantial and persuasive evidence” that Elliott had been violent toward Thompson. (The NFL’s personal-conduct policy says that a player who has not been charged with a crime can still be disciplined if there is “credible evidence” that he violated the policy.) An NFL spokesperson, asked what the “substantial and persuasive” standard means and how it compares to a preponderance-of-evidence one, was unable to clarify the issue for Deadspin.