Daryl Washington suspension creates tough situation for Arizona Cardinals defense

Christian Petersen

Daryl Washington is suspended for four games in 2013, who will replace him on the field for those games?

Despite the unknown factors surrounding Daryl Washington's violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. There is one clear consequence. D-Wash is out for the first four games of the season, putting an already weak LB corps in an precarious position.

So, who stands in for arguably the best Cardinals defensive player?

Reggie Walker.

There is no question, barring injury, Walker will replace Washington for the four games. Jasper Brinkley is the teams only other ILB who has significant experience and playing time, but he is expected to replace Paris Lenon.

Lorenzo Alexander won't be playing at ILB because he will be playing a majority of snaps at OLB. He was signed to help put pressure on the QB. With Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield still playing inconsistently, expect Alexander to have a season similar to Quentin Groves in 2012.

The only other option would be drafting an ILB, but outside of Kevin Minter and Manti Te'o the 2013 ILB class is weak. Seeing as the Cardinals have more pressing needs at OLB and OT/OG, both will be gone before the 3rd round.

Now for the caveat.

It is expected for the defense to move to an aggressive hybrid, utilizing pre-snap adjustments, creating confusion, unique blitzing.

No matter where Brinkley and Walker are lining up, both have an opportunity in this situation. Both will take advantage of the situation.

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