ESPN's Bart Scott: Viagra will help Josh Allen for Bills' frigid cold playoff game

It's January and that means cold, blustery weather in the Northeast. The locals know how to deal with it, breaking out base layers, fleece-lined thermal underwear, jackets, hats and gloves out of the hallway closet. 

ESPN personality and former NFL linebacker Bart Scott has other ideas that involve the bathroom medicine cabinet and a pill one wouldn't expect. 

Bart Scott gives awkward advice

The "Get Up!" crew was discussing the weather in Buffalo for Saturday's wild-card game when Scott gave his recommendation to quarterback Josh Allen, who said he has bad circulation. The forecast projects single-digits for the Saturday night matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots and Scott wants Allen to pop a Viagra beforehand to stay warm. 

Yes. A Viagra. 

"That will get that circulation going right," Scott said. An awkward pause followed. 

Scott, an 11-year veteran who played in the cold while in the AFC North and East divisions all his career, never let a smile crack his face and looked incredibly serious in his comments. 

"A lot of NFL players, at least in my day, took Viagra because it opened up the blood vessels," Scott said. "A lot of endurance athletes (too) because Viagra was first a heart medicine so it builds up circulation, which makes sure it gets that circulation to the feet." 

"I swear I'm not trying to be funny." 

Damien Woody was beside himself laughing as Scott kept going. Credit to Dianna Russini, who will be covering the game in Buffalo, for circling back to the topic at hand and for throwing in a joke about eating hot wings to stay warm. 

"I don't think he's going to necessarily be taking Viagra from what I can tell from the conversation, he didn't share that with me," Russini said. "But he did say he's going to be standing next to heaters when the defense is out to keep those toes [warm]."

Allen has struggled in cold weather, including a few weeks ago when the Patriots were in town for large wind gusts, rain and show showers. Saturday's game could be the second-coldest game in Bills history with temperatures between 6 and 8 degrees expected at kickoff. The wind chill could make it feel colder than zero. 

Bills' Dawson Knox knocks down Scott's advice 

The conversation seeped into the Bills' media availability where tight end Dawson Knox gave the suggestion and emphatic "no" for good reason. 

"I've heard that Viagra can actually make you test positive for PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs)," Knox told reporters. "I think there's something in there that will pop you positive and make you miss four games. So in order to do that, I would need a prescription. I do not have a prescription. Therefore, I will not be trying that out."

Knox went on from there to further explain why he wouldn't be experimenting with the theory. 

Viagra, NFL and cold weather 

Don't expect Josh Allen to take Bart Scott's Viagra advice. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Don't expect Josh Allen to take Bart Scott's Viagra advice. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

This isn't actually a new concept within the NFL, hence why Scott looked so serious. Retired wide receiver Chad Johnson said in July 2020 he took Viagra while playing to increase blood flow and better his game. It's worth noting he said he also did it to get around the NFL's drug testing policy on steroids. 

Way back in 2012, Brandon Marshall told reporters that players were taking it for the edge. He worried about the potential side effects of using it in that way and Men's Health also looked into them.  

Studies over the years have found it "may" help with blood flow to the extremities and suggests it helps prevent heart muscle thickening and early heart failure. The World Ani-Doping Agency launched a study in 2008 to see if it gave athletes an unfair advantage, hypothesizing that because it can improve blood flow to the lungs it increases performance.