Daryl Washington suspended four games by NFL

USA TODAY Sports

This loss will be a big blow to the Arizona defense to start the season.

The NFL released a statement on Wednesday announcing that Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Wahington has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013. The suspension is for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy. The suspension is without pay.

While he may not play in the team's first four games, he is able to practice and participate in training camp and in the preseason.

An important detail to note is that if a player is suspended for four games, it means that he had entered Stage 2 of the league's substance abuse program. This was not his first run-in with substance abuse since coming into the league.

Important to note that this is not a suspension for performance enhancing drugs. It is related to drugs or alcohol.

Washington released this statement after the announcement:

"I was always taught that when you make a mistake, you admit it, learn from it and face whatever consequences there are. 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."

Losing Washington will be a big blow to the defense. He is the cornerstone in the middle of the field and one of the team's biggest playmakers. Working with a new defense under Todd Bowles, he really has let his team down.

Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.

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