Daryl Washington suspended for “at least a year” for violating NFL substance abuse policy

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Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended for “at least” one year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

The teams official website notes that the suspension is unrelated to Washington’s recent plea bargain for an assault charge. His suspension will begin immediately and prevent him from taking hte field during the 2014 season.

“It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said. “We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them. 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.”

Washington was suspended for four games during the 2013 season for substance abuse violations.

“The Policy is very strict, and I have chosen to take responsibility,” Washington said. “I am committed to making changes in my life that will allow me to return to the NFL as soon as possible. I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape, and will work equally as hard to ensure that my life off of the field meets the high level of maturity and responsibility to which I am committed.”

“I sincerely apologize for the effect of my actions on my teammates, coaches and other colleagues at the Cardinals. I also apologize to Cardinals fans for the time I will miss. I will work diligently during this suspension and will return as a better man and football player.”

The Cardinals will be left with Kevin Minter and former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Larry Foote as replacements.