Washington Redskins players had Sunday night to digest several reports that two of the team’s best offensive players, tight end Fred Davis and left tackle Trent Williams, are facing four-game suspensions for repeatedly violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy by using recreational drugs.
And when players reported to Redskins Park on Monday morning in the aftermath of their seventh loss in eight games, the situation only added to the misery of their 4-8 record.
“I wouldn’t call it anger, but it’s just disappointing because everybody is aware of the rules and how the NFL carries the drug policy,” co-captain Lorenzo Alexander said. “More than just yourself is at stake if you happen to get caught, especially those two guys who play intricate roles on the success of whether we win or lose.”
The league had not notified coach Mike Shanahan of the suspensions by the time he met with reporters at 3 p.m. Monday, Shanahan said. Because no disciplinary action had been finalized, Davis and Williams participated in business as usual at team headquarters. They broke down film of Sunday’s 34-19 loss to the New York Jets, which could be their last game of the season.
“Until something is said to me they will be here,” Shanahan said.
Because the suspensions were not official, though, Shanahan danced around the 18 questions on the subject that began his news conference.
“It’s something you have to deal with,” he said. “It’s reality. We’ve got a situation here that — two excellent football players, we’ll find out here shortly what their status is.”
The questions lasted eight minutes into his 23-minute meeting with reporters. With the team out of contention, Sunday’s loss was an afterthought to this developing drama involving two of its top contributors.
Shanahan was careful not to speak as if the suspensions were official, but he did address broader issues such as the importance of players’ character and commitment.
“It’s paramount to me in putting a football team together,” he said.
“To win a Super Bowl, to be the top organization, you have to have character,” he said. “We are always looking for not only the great athletes but great character. Some people will make mistakes; we understand that along the way. That doesn’t mean we are just going to drop somebody because they make a mistake, but we are going to make sure they are made of the right stuff.”
Davis leads the Redskins with 59 receptions and 796 receiving yards. His three touchdowns are tied for most on the team. Williams, the fourth-overall pick in 2010, is an exceptionally athletic blocker who is coming off three consecutive quality performances.View Entire Story
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