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Daryl Washington of the Arizona Cardinals has been suspended by the NFL for the entire 2014 season for violating its substance abuse policy. The news is a major blow to the Cardinals’ defense, which was among the best in the league last season.
In a statement, the team said that it was not related to a plea bargain he reached with prosecutors on an assault charge. Washington was suspended last season for substance abuse as well, missing four games.
“It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a statement. “We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them."
Keim continued, "From a personal standpoint, our hope is that this suspension will give Daryl the opportunity to accept the necessary help and guidance to get his life back on track and we will certainly support him however we can.”
According to ESPN, Washington could have received a suspension for the assault charge as well. He was arrested last May for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend and pleaded guilty in April. He was sentenced to a year on probation.
Washington ended up missing the first four games of the season due to the suspension, but played in all 12 remaining games. He racked up 81 tackles, two touchdowns and three sacks.
The Cardinals had a good 2013 season, going 10-6, but still missed the playoffs, as the finished behind the Seattle Seahawks and 49ers in the NFC West.