Yes, Daryl Washington has been suspended for at least one year. Yes, there are a ton of questions we all have about how this affects the Arizona Cardinals heading into this season.
However, when it comes to talking about Washington, the team is done addressing the situation. Head coach Bruce Arians and a couple of players fielded questions that were surrounding the topic, but no one will answer anymore questions about the suspended linebacker.
"This will be the last time this will be addressed by the Cardinals," Arians opened his time with the media on Monday after practice. "We will not talk about guys that are not with us ever again. Obviously I hope that Daryl gets his life straightened out.
He also was very unaccountable to his teammates, the organization, the fans, everybody else. From this point forward, after today I’ve already told the players there will be no questions answered about Daryl Washington. He’s no longer with us. We’ll talk about the guys who are here practicing and are getting ready to play for the Cardinals this year. And that’s pretty much it.”
The message is moving on, moving forward.
Arians did say he was "Extremely" disappointed in Washington. "It's something he made a choice and we're all living with it," he said.
Quarterback Carson Palmer was also asked whether he was disappointed in Washington. He didn't really say.
"You can't do anything except move on," he said. "It doesn't matter if you're disappointed. Complaining about it, talking about it doesn't really do anything. You've just got to move past it."
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who viably could become the starter in Washington's place, simply said that the statement that Steve Keim gave when the suspension was announced said it all -- there is disappointment and then the team simply has to move on to the next guy.
That doesn't mean that everyone has forgotten about Washington. Arians talked to him after the team learned of the news, but he is no longer allowed to communicate with Washington. As for the players, Palmer said that the team will "support him and love him and contonuet to try to be there for him through this phase."
Alexander said he remains concerned for Washington, whom he calls his friend.
But that's about it. No one will discuss the player. He is off the team's roster and the team's salary cap is unaffected by him this year.
It is all about moving on, and it has to be that way. It can't be something that distracts players. He's not there. It doesn't do them any good to keep talking about it.
So how do they move forward?
Arian said the team "has a number of guys that are capable." Veteran Larry Foote is there now "with outstanding leadership and has played really good football in the league fo a long time."
Kenny Demens, who was a 2013 practice squad player at inside linebacker, "is having a great camp."
Kevin Minter is "having a fantastic camp" and Arians "anticipates him to be great."
Lorenzo Alexander is now moving inside, a "very accountable player" who will "add another veteran presence in there."
Arians does not believe it is imperative to bring in another player necessarily, but did say the team is short on players at the position for camp. They would prefer to have seven inside linebackers to go to camp with. "We'll see what's available and pursue it from there," he said.
Looking ahead beyond this season, would he be welcome in the locker room? Carson Palmer said he absolutely would. Bruce Arians was asked if Washington will ever play again in Arizona. He simply said "I don't even think about it." That is a conversation for at least a year from now. Coaches live in the present. He's not worrying about that.
And in the present, the team won't be mentioning Washington anymore.
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