The Cardinals defense took a hit Friday morning when news broke that linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended for the entire 2014 season, effective immediately, for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
“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. 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.
“As it pertains to our team, our approach is the same as it’s always been: next man up. We talk a lot about how critical depth is to a team because situations always arise where you lose players, whether by injury or other circumstances such as this one. One player’s absence is another’s opportunity. That approach has served us well in the past and we will rely on it now.”
Washington, 27, collected 75 tackles, 10 defended passes, three sacks and two interceptions in 12 games last season after missing the first four games, also for violating the league's substance abuse policy. In four years with the Cardinals, he has 18 sacks and 389 total tackles.
He pled guilty in May to assault charges against the mother of his child and received one year of supervised probation.
The Cardinals defense allowed the fewest rushing yards in the entire league last year, allowing opponents to average just 84.4 per game, and finished seventh in the league in points allowed at 20.2 per game.