Daryl Washington Suspended By NFL For Violating Substance Abuse Policy

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended by the NFL after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Coming off a breakout season in 2012, Washington will miss the first four games of the season.

On Wednesday the Cardinals announced Daryl Washington has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Washington will not be paid during his suspension, but will be allowed to participate in offseason activities.

Daryl Washington was one of the best linebackers in the NFL last season. The third-year player recorded 108 tackles with nine sacks. Both were career highs and signs of much better things to come.

Arizona Cardinals new head coach Bruce Arians said Washington understands the consequences of his actions:

“Adversity and dealing with it is part of the business, but when it’s avoidable like this was, it’s particularly tough. One of the biggest things we preach is accountability; Daryl knows that and our team knows that.”

Daryl Washington’s four game suspension leaves the Cardinals thin at the linebacker position. Arians is confident in the ability of his team to step up in Washington’s absence. Jasper Brinkley will likely start in his absence. The team is expected to retain their 3-4 defensive scheme from last season.

In his own statement, Washington said:

“I take full responsibility and I understand that I let down my teammates, the organization and fans. I apologize for that and promise that no one will work harder to make up for it,” Washington said in a statement.”

Details of how Washington violated the league’s substance abuse policy are being kept confidential.

The loss of Daryl Washington should be felt by one of last season’s best defenses. The cardinals main goal this offseason has been rebuilding an embarrassing offense led my multiple quarterbacks. The addition of Carson Palmer should help stabilize the offensive side of the ball. It will be interesting to see if the revamped offense will help offset the effects of Washington’s suspension.

Should the Cardinals be worried about their defense while Daryl Washington serves his suspension?